FORT RILEY, Kan. — U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Stuart W. Risch, the 41st Judge Advocate General for the U.S. Army, visited the 1st Infantry Division to conduct an Article Six inspection on Fort Riley, Kansas, May 15 through the 17, 2023.
According to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Article Six states that the Judge Advocate General (JAG) or senior members of his staff shall make frequent inspections in the field in supervision of the administration of military justice.
The Staff Judge Advocate assists commanders in maintaining combat ready forces by providing timely, accurate and principled legal advice from highly trained legal professionals.
“The overall visit is called an ‘Article Six Visit,’ where the Judge Advocate General inspects the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate at various major installations,” said Cpt. Jesse Burbank, a JAG attorney, assigned to the 1st Inf. Div. “The walkthrough of the office was to get a sense of how the office runs and the everyday activities that the office carries out.”
Risch gathered with Big Red One Soldiers at the Education Center Auditorium to deliver the State of the JAG Corps Address. He stressed the importance of recruiting, retention, leadership, mentorship, wellness, diversity, decision making and military justice reform.
“Our mission is to fight and win the nation’s wars,” Risch said. “As an Army we have to work hard to gain trust. We gain trust through our ethical foundation. We’re people of integrity, we’re people of character, so that when we speak, our word is our bone.”
JAG Corps challenge coins were presented to Soldiers and staff members from Fort Riley’s military justice administration, acknowledging their accomplishments and showing gratitude for going above and beyond their duties.
“To be recognized by not only my office but also [Lt. Gen. Risch] was a mixture of emotions,” said Pfc. Markus Walsh, a paralegal specialist assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Fort Riley Garrison, 1st Inf. Div. “I was humbled to receive high praise from people of their caliber. Not just in rank but the quality of their character. Truly inspirational and admirable. I could not achieve what I achieved without my team.”
A walkthrough at Fort Riley’s Office of the Staff Judge Advocate building was conducted in which Risch walked with Col. Toby Curto, Staff Judge Advocate of Fort Riley, to observe the different law divisions and how the office operates.
“I really appreciate the general taking time to eat with us junior enlisted Soldiers and impart his wisdom on us,” Walsh said. “It was a chance to speak with him as a husband, father and mentor, as well as a general.”
While Risch’s visit was mainly to supervise the installation’s administration of military justice, it also served as a morale booster for the Big Red One Soldiers.
Over lunch at the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate building courtroom, Risch sat with junior enlisted Soldiers of the 1st Inf. Div. and spoke about his experiences as the Judge Advocate General of the Army. He shared his story on becoming Judge Advocate General of the Army, and how he overcame the change of suggesting decisions, to now having the responsibility of making final decisions.
The lunch allowed Risch the opportunity to listen to the comments and concerns of the Soldiers regarding the JAG Corps.
“The best part of this visit was engaging with the Soldiers and officers, getting their perspectives on things,” Risch said. “I get to come down here and get to see all the effects of the policies. I see things the way they see things and I know I can do things that will make their jobs easier.”