Grissom JAGS nominated for National Award

  • Published
  • By A1C Harrison Withrow
  • 434th ARW Public Affairs

Two of Grissom’s judge advocates were recently nominated for the Reginald C. Harmon and Albert M. Kuhfeld awards.

Lt. Col. Jeremy Flannery, 434th Air Refueling Wing staff judge advocate, and Maj. Joseph Ahlers, 434th ARW staff judge advocate for the Air Force Reserve command operating out of Grissom, were both recognized for their exceptional performance in 2018 when they were selected as the 4th Air Force nominees for the most outstanding Reserve judge advocate and the most outstanding active duty judge advocate, respectively.

“The fact that we were both nominated for awards in our respective fields highlights in important thing about the judge advocate team here at Grissom,” said Ahlers. “This isn’t a solo effort, we all work together and we succeed together.”

Ahlers attributed part of his success to the environment in which he has operated for the past year.

“These awards are largely based on how much you contributed to the mission,” he said. “Grissom has given me a great opportunity to dive into things and contribute not only on the active duty side, but also on the Reserve side.”

Ahlers’ primary role is handling labor, environmental, and contract law for the 434th ARW, but he is also called upon to fill in for his Reserve counterparts from time to time.

“There are times when it would be detrimental to the mission and the health of the unit for an issue to wait until a Reserve judge advocate was available,” he said. “I can work with the Reserve side and get these issues taken care of quickly instead of having everyone wait until the next training weekend just to get some forms signed.”

“Ahlers has helped us out quite a bit on the Reserve side,” said Flannery. “Our job is to provide legal advice to the commander, squadron leaders, and first sergeants to help them take care of their people as best they can.”

In addition to advising leadership, Grissom’s judge advocates also provide assistance to Airmen.

“We give legal assistance to Airmen with things such as wills, power of attorney, divorce, child custody, or anything else that they might have legal needs for, we’ll try to give them guidance and advice,” said Flannery. “We can’t represent them in court, but we represent them here and we do everything we can to help them navigate the legal system.”

Colonel Larry Shaw, 434th ARW wing commander, had high praise for Grissom’s judge advocates and their performance as resilient leaders.

“I rely heavily on my attorneys for solid advice, and their recognition proves their value to not only me, but to our wing,” said Shaw. “I’ve known for a long time that Colonel Flannery and Major Ahlers were both special, and this proves my point.”

The 434th ARW is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. The Citizen Airmen from the Hoosier Wing routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission.

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