Judge Advocates, Then and Now

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By Rear Adm. John G. Hannink
Deputy Judge Advocate General of the Navy                                                                

Upon learning that the Navy’s Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps is only 50 years old, most people express surprise.

One could be forgiven for assuming the JAG Corps has been around for far longer. Since its inception Dec. 8, 1967, the JAG Corps has been essential to naval operations. Furthermore, the scope and breadth of advice has grown since our Corps’ foundation, to the point that we’re at today – where our personnel advise clients across the globe on matters that range from the most sensitive national security decisions, to individual legal services, to Sailors in need of our assistance.

Indeed, Navy judge advocates have long captured the public’s imagination. I am still asked regularly about the “JAG” television show and few have forgotten Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise sparring on the big screen in “A Few Good Men.” Their portrayals in popular culture have made judge advocates indelible symbols of naval service.

Some people also are surprised to learn that the first uniformed chief legal officer of the Navy was, in fact, a Marine. Col. William Butler Remey was assigned to the post in 1878 after convincing Congress that, like other branches of the military, the Navy needed a permanent JAG (e.g., the Navy had a “JAG” long before the JAG Corps).

GREAT LAKES, Ill. (February 8, 2016) – Lt. Kimberly Rios works on legal briefs for Naval Station Great Lakes Command Feb. 8. (U. S. Navy photo by Scott A. Thornbloom)

Remey actually argued that naval law was so unique that a line officer must serve as JAG. It wasn’t until 1950, nearly 75 years later, that the law required the JAG to be an attorney. In 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed legislation that formalized the creation of the JAG Corps.

Today, a half-century later, the JAG Corps is a very different organization. It has evolved in countless ways to meet the demands of a growing military and a more interconnected and complex world.

Judge advocates are now ever-present fixtures at most naval commands. And yet, I wonder how many Sailors have a comprehensive understanding of the myriad ways judge advocates support them and the Navy mission.

It’s impossible to capture everything the JAG Corps does in a single blog post. It is perhaps best to highlight our three core practice areas – the three ways in which we touch Sailors and their families every day.

PORT LOUIS, Mauritius (Feb. 3, 2017) Cmdr. Andrew Wilkes, a legal advisor assigned to U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, discusses the implementation of a United Nations security council resolution with Geeandeo Cheetamun, Mauritian chief inspector of police during Exercise Cutlass Express 2017. The exercise is sponsored by U.S. Africa Command and conducted by U.S. Naval Forces Africa to assess and improve combined maritime law enforcement capacity and promote national and regional security in East Africa. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Justin Stumberg/Released)

Our military justice team strives to help ensure good order and discipline, and protects the rights of all parties in judicial proceedings. Trial counsel, defense counsel, judges and victims legal counsel work tirelessly on behalf of Sailors and their families, and to protect the integrity of the military justice system.

Our operational lawyers provide commanders with accurate and responsive legal advice to support military operations and sound naval administration. We have attorneys specializing in maritime law, international law, environmental law and many other disciplines. Our judge advocates are on the cutting edge of many emerging issues, such as cyber warfare and special operations.

Do you need a will, help with your taxes or perhaps home-buying advice? Our legal assistance team supports the fleet by helping Sailors and their families resolve personal legal matters and to remain mission-ready. A judge advocate or civilian subject matter expert is standing by at any time to help Sailors with all their concerns and more.

Today, as it turns 50 years old, our JAG Corps is more versatile and more ingrained in naval operations than Remey, Johnson or any of the JAG Corps’ earliest members could have envisioned. Our judge advocates are making a meaningful impact on the Navy and on the lives of Sailors and their families. The future – the next 50 years – looks bright.



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Judge Advocates, Then and Now

Ships Named Enterprise: For More Than 240 Years, They’ve Boldly Served America’s Navy

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By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Eric Lockwood
Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

During the Dec. 1, 2012 inactivation ceremony of CVN-65, the eighth U.S. Navy ship to bear the name Enterprise, then-Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced the legacy of “Big E” would continue, officially naming the third Gerald R. Ford-class carrier, CVN-80, USS Enterprise. As the Navy formally decommissioned its immediate predecessor Feb. 3, 2017, it’s appropriate to look back at each of the mighty ships that have born the name; whose greatness was earned by the integrity, accountability, initiative and toughness of the Sailors who have served in them.

As we say fair winds to CVN-65, and welcome in the new era of CVN-80, the ninth ship to carry the name Enterprise, let’s take a look back at the making of the legacy.

Enterprise I (1775-1777)

The first Enterprise was originally a British ship named George. Photo courtesy of USS Enterprise CVN 65's official website.
The first Enterprise was originally a British ship named George. Photo courtesy of USS Enterprise CVN 65’s official website.

The first Enterprise originally belonged to the British and was named George. She cruised on Lake Champlain and supplied English posts in Canada. On May 18, 1775, Col. Benedict Arnold captured the ship, renamed her Enterprise and outfitted her with guns and thereafter defended American supply routes in New England from British attacks. The ship was one of many that embarked more than 1,000 troops in August that year as part of an expedition against three Canadian cities: St. Johns, Montreal and Quebec. British reinforcements caused the Americans to retreat. Regrouping in October, Arnold’s soldiers disrupted the British invasion into New York. Enterprise was one of only five ships to survive the two-day battle. The following year, the British would be defeated at Saratoga, New York, which helped bring about a French alliance with the colonists, and with them, their powerful navy. Enterprise, however, wasn’t around for the Battle of Saratoga. The sloop had been run aground on July 7, 1777, during the evacuation of Ticonderoga and was burned to prevent its capture.

Enterprise II (1776-1777)

The second Enterprise was an 8-gun schooner. Photo courtesy of USS Enterprise CVN 65's official website.
The second Enterprise was an 8-gun schooner. Photo courtesy of USS Enterprise CVN 65’s official website.

The second Enterprise, a schooner, was a successful letter-of-marque before she was purchased Dec. 20, 1776, for the Continental Navy. Commanded by Capt. Joseph Campbell, Enterprise operated principally in Chesapeake Bay. She convoyed transports, carried out reconnaissance and guarded the shores against foraging raids by the British. Only meager records of her service have been found; they indicate she was apparently returned to the Maryland Council of Safety before the end of February 1777.

Enterprise III (1799-1823)

The third USS Enterprise was a 12-gun schooner.
The third USS Enterprise was a 12-gun schooner.

The third Enterprise was the schooner used to capture the pirate ships during the Barbary Wars. At her time of service, anti-piracy operations were a major part of the Navy’s mission. American shipping vessels were frequently attacked in the Caribbean, and the Navy was tasked with fighting them. It was her commanding officer, Lt. Stephen Decatur Jr., who pulled off the daring expedition to burn the frigate Philadelphia in the harbor of Tripoli in 1804. She would be refitted as a brig during the War of 1812. On Sept. 5, 1813, Enterprise chased down the British brig Boxer in a close-combat battle that took the lives of both ships’ commanding officers, Lt. William Burrows and Capt. Samuel Blyth. From 1815 to 1823, Enterprise suppressed smugglers, pirates and slavers until July 9, 1823, the ship became stranded and broke up on Little Curacao Island in the West Indies, without any loss of her crew.

Enterprise IV (1831-1844)

The fourth Enterprise was a 10-gun schooner. Photo courtesy of USS Enterprise CVN 65's official website.
The fourth Enterprise was a 10-gun schooner. Photo courtesy of USS Enterprise CVN 65’s official website.

The fourth Enterprise was a schooner built by the New York Navy Yard where it launched on Oct. 26, 1831. Its original complement was nine officers and 63 men and, for most of its life, it protected U.S. shipping around the world. After spending time guarding American interests near Brazil, the schooner spent time in the Far East (Africa, India and East Indies). She was back cruising South America until March 1839 when she left Valparaiso, Chile, to round the Horn, make a port call at Rio de Janeiro, and then head north to Philadelphia, where she was inactivated on July 12. Recommissioned a few months later, Enterprise sailed from New York back to South America on March 16, 1840. After four years, she returned to the Boston Navy Yard, decommissioned June 24, 1844, and sold four months later.

Enterprise V (1877-1909)

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CAPTION: The fifth USS Enterprise anchored off New York City during the early 1890s. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

The fifth Enterprise was a bark-rigged screw sloop-of-war. She was built at the Portsmouth Naval Yard in Maine by John W. Griffith, launched June 13, 1874, and commissioned March 16, 1877. Decommissioned and recommissioned several times, she primarily surveyed oceans, littoral areas and river founts around the world, including the Amazon and Madeira Rivers. When not on hydrographic survey cruises, she spent time sailing the waters of Europe, the Mediterranean and east coast of Africa. From 1891 to 1892, Enterprise was the platform on which cadets at the Naval Academy trained and practiced. Then, she was lent to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for duty as a maritime school ship for 17 years. Returned to the Navy on May 4, 1909, Enterprise was sold five months later.

Enterprise VI (1916-1919)

The sixth Enterprise was a 66-foot motor patrol craft purchased by the Navy on Dec. 6, 1916. Photo courtesy of USS Enterprise CVN 65’s official website.

The sixth Enterprise (No. 790), a 66-foot motorboat, was purchased by the Navy on Dec. 6, 1916. Placed with the 2nd Naval District on Sept. 25, 1917, the noncommissioned motorboat performed harbor tug duties at Newport, Rhode Island, before going to New Bedford, Massachusetts, Dec. 11, 1917. The motorboat was transferred to the Bureau of Fisheries Aug. 2, 1919.

Enterprise VII (1938-1947)

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USS Enterprise (C 6), was the most decorated ship in U.S. Navy history when she was decommissioned in 1946.

Once again a proper warship, this time a Yorktown-class carrier, Enterprise (CV 6) earned her nickname – Big E. In World War II, she earned 20 battle stars, the most for any U.S. warship in World War II, for the crucial roles she played in numerous battles, including Midway, Guadalcanal, Leyte Gulf and the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo. During the Battle of Guadalcanal, Enterprise took three direct hits, killing 74 and wounding 95 crew members. It was the Enterprise that took on the Hornet’s aircraft after that carrier was abandoned during the Battle of the Santa Cruz Island Oct. 26, 1942. By the end of the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal on Nov. 15, Enterprise had shared in sinking 16 ships and damaging eight more. After an overhaul for much of 1943, Enterprise was back in the fight when, on Nov. 26, 1943, the Big E introduced carrier-based night fighter operations in the Pacific. The Big E suffered the last of her damage on May 14, 1945, after a kamikaze plane struck the ship near her forward elevator, killing 14 and wounding 34 men. The most decorated ship in U.S. naval history entered the New York Naval Shipyard on Jan. 18, 1946, for inactivation and was decommissioned Feb. 17, 1947. She was sold July 1, 1958.

Enterprise VIII (1961-2017)

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Artist’s rendition of the eighth USS Enterprise

In 1954, Congress authorized the construction of the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the eighth U.S. ship to bear the name Enterprise. The giant ship was to be powered by eight nuclear reactors, two for each of its four propeller shafts. This was a daring undertaking, for never before had two nuclear reactors ever been harnessed together. As such, when the engineers first started planning the ship’s propulsion system, they were uncertain how it would work, or even if it would work according to their theories. Three years and nine months after construction began, Enterprise (CVN 65) was ready to present to the world as “The First, The Finest” super carrier, and the construction was proven capable. Her long career, consisting of 25 deployments and 51 years of service to the United States, has been well documented and this space can’t begin to list her accomplishments, but those can be found here at the Naval History and Heritage Command’s website and in libraries across the country. The ship was inactivated Dec. 1, 2012; and decommissioned Feb. 3, 2017, following nuclear defueling, dismantlement and recycling.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (Feb. 3, 2017) Capt. Todd A. Beltz, commanding officer, USS Enterprise (CVN 65), and Command Master Chief Dwayne Huff pose with the commissioning pennant during the Enterprise decommissioning ceremony. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tyler Preston/Released)
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (Feb. 3, 2017) Capt. Todd A. Beltz, commanding officer, USS Enterprise (CVN 65), and Command Master Chief Dwayne Huff pose with the commissioning pennant during the Enterprise decommissioning ceremony. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tyler Preston/Released)

In the 241 years that have followed the signing of the Declaration of Independence, America’s Navy has had a ship in the fleet called Enterprise for all but 103. It’ll be about ten more years before we have another, and that one is expected to serve her nation for more than another half a century.



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Ships Named Enterprise: For More Than 240 Years, They’ve Boldly Served America’s Navy

Women’s History Month: Flight Nurses Revolutionize Military Medical Care


Courtesy of Af.mil

Before World War II, the U.S. military showed little interest in using aircraft and flight nurses to evacuate wounded troops to rear areas. The global war, however, forced the U.S. Army Air Forces to revolutionize military medical care through the development of air evacuation (later known as aeromedical evacuation) and flight nurses.

Graphic: At the AAF School of Air Evacuation at Bowman Field, Ky., student flight nurses learned how to handle patients with the aid of a mock-up fuselage of a Douglas C-47 transport. By Sylvia Saab

At the AAF School of Air Evacuation at Bowman Field, Ky., student flight nurses learned how to handle patients with the aid of a mock-up fuselage of a Douglas C-47 transport. Graphic by Sylvia Saab

The rapid expansion of USAAF air transportation routes around the world made it possible to fly wounded and sick servicemen quickly to fully-equipped hospitals far from the front lines. This revolution saved the lives of many wounded men, and the introduction of flight nurses helped make it possible.

In early 1942, airlift units in Alaska, Burma and New Guinea successfully evacuated patients using the same transport aircraft that had carried men and supplies to the front. Due to a pressing need, the USAAF created medical air evacuation squadrons and started a rush training program for flight surgeons, enlisted medical technicians, and flight nurses at Bowman Field, near Louisville, Ky.

The need for flight nurses became critical after the Allied invasion of North Africa in November 1942, but the women at Bowman Field had not finished their training. Nevertheless, the USAAF sent these nurses to North Africa on Christmas Day.

On Feb. 18, 1943, the U.S. Army Nurse Corps’ first class of flight nurses formally graduated at Bowman Field. 2nd Lt. Geraldine Dishroon, the honor graduate, received the first wings presented to a flight nurse. In 1944, Dishroon served on the first air evacuation team to land on Omaha Beach after the D-Day invasion.

Since the aircraft used for air evacuation also transported military supplies, they could not display the Red Cross. With no markings to indicate their non-combat status, these evacuation flights were vulnerable to enemy attacks. For this reason, flight nurses and medical technicians were volunteers.

To prepare for any emergency, flight nurses learned crash procedures, received survival training, and studied the effects of high altitude on various types of patients. In addition, flight nurses had to be in top physical condition to care for patients during these rigorous flights.

Two of those flight nurses, 1st Lt. Aleda Lutz, and 1st Lt. Mary Hawkins, would be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the second highest honor a military member can receive next to the Medal of Honor.

One of the most celebrated flight nurses of World War II, 1st Lt. Aleda E. Lutz flew 196 missions and evacuated over 3,500 men. In November 1944, during an evacuation flight from the front lines near Lyons, Italy, her crashed killing all aboard. Awarded the Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, she posthumously received the Distinguished Flying Cross.

On Sept. 24, 1944, 1st Lt. Mary Louise Hawkins was evacuating 24 patients from the fighting at Palau to Guadalcanal when the C-47 ran low on fuel. The pilot made a forced landing in a small clearing on Bellona Island. During the landing, a propeller tore through the fuselage and severed the trachea of one patient.

Hawkins made a suction tube from various items including the inflation tube from a “Mae West.” With this contrivance, she kept the man’s throat clear of blood until aid arrived 19 hours later. All of her patients survived. For her actions, Hawkins received the Distinguished Flying Cross.

On March 22, 1945, two CG-4A gliders landed in a clearing near the bridgehead at Remagen, Germany, to evacuate 25 severely injured American and German casualties. Once the gliders were loaded, C-47 transports successfully snatched them from their landing site and towed them to a military hospital in France.

In the second glider, 1st Lt. Suella V. Bernard, who had volunteered for the mission, cared for the wounded en route. One of the first two nurses to fly into Normandy after the D-Day invasion, Bernard became the only nurse known to have participated in a glider combat mission during World War II. For this mission, she received the Air Medal.

As the flight nurse on the first intercontinental air evacuation flight, 2nd Lt. Elsie S. Ott demonstrated the potential of air evacuation in January 1943. An Army nurse who had never flown in an airplane and had no air evacuation training, she successfully oversaw the movement of five seriously ill patients from India to Washington, D.C.

This six-day trip would have normally taken three months by ship and ground transportation. For her actions on this historic flight, Ott received the first Air Medal presented to a woman, and she also received formal flight nurse training.

Eventually, about 500 Army nurses served as members of 31 medical air evacuation transport squadrons operating worldwide. It is a tribute to their skill that of the 1,176,048 patients air evacuated throughout the war, only 46 died en route. Seventeen flight nurses lost their lives during the war.

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Tuskegee Airman a Success in Both Military and Business
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Airman on the Ropes