162nd Wing Legal Office Receives Award

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MORRIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ariz. – In recognition of the hard work and dedication by the Airmen of the 162nd Wing Legal Office, the team won the Special Unit Legal Office of the Year Award for 2020.

This award is given to the legal office that best exemplifies The Judge Advocate General Corps’ mission of providing the Air Force, commanders, and Airmen with professional, full spectrum legal support required for mission success in air, space, and cyberspace.

“It is great to receive acknowledgment for our efforts. It serves as an affirmation that our efforts help the Wing, the Guard, and the Air Force,” said Lt. Col. Travis Ausland, 162nd Wing staff judge advocate. “Receiving national-level awards also opens opportunities for our team to advance personally and professionally.”

The legal office provides a variety of legal assistance to the Wing, including full-service legal advice to the Wing’s commanders, as well as traditional legal assistance to Wing members.

“For calendar year 2020, we drafted 40 wills, 243 powers of attorney, 47 advanced medical directives, and notarized 319 signatures,” said Ausland. “This resulted in over $60,000 in savings to Wing members.”

According to Ausland, the members of the legal office routinely perform beyond expectations, and those efforts have been rewarded. In addition to the national award, the team and its members also won the Wing Commander Special Recognition Award, Mentor of the Year, Field Grade Officer of the Quarter, and Drill Status Guardsman Officer of the Quarter in 2020.

“Our office is building off the successful foundation created by Brig. Gen. Sue Ellen Schuerman and Chief Master Sgt. Lisa Gonzalez, who were the previous staff judge advocate and law office superintendent,” said Ausland. “Gen. Schuerman and Chief Gonzales created the office that we run today. Their success led the office to win the same award in 2017. Our current members work hard to maintain what they built.”