125th Fighter Wing JAG office win 2021 Legal Office of the Year

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Cole Benjamin
  • 125th Fighter Wing

JACKSONVILLE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Fla. -- The 125th Fighter Wing Judge Advocate General’s office was recognized Aug. 14, 2022 for winning the 2021 Legal Office of the Year award within the Air Combat Command component of the Air National Guard.

The 125th FW JAG office bested 40 other ANG units across the ACC to win the award.

“What a superior legal office looks like is more of a qualitative thing than it is a quantitative thing,” said Maj. Michael Stanski, 125th Fighter Wing acting staff judge advocate. “It’s one thing to say we did something or we tried something, but that’s not success. It’s about executing properly and having good results.”

Throughout 2021, the 125th JAG office assisted in crafting local and national policy. They also hosted the National Guard Military Judges conference held in St. Augustine. The event brought together National Guard military judges from across the country who received training from the Chief Trial Judge of the U.S. Army and Deputy Chief Trial Judge of the U.S. Army. Additionally, they advised the Wing commander on the CBD/THC Delta 8 policy when the Air Force started testing for Delta 8 in the summer of 2021. Delta 8 is a cannabis derivative that military members are prohibited from consuming. The 125th FW JAG team was instrumental in advising senior leadership on any legal issues stemming from a servicemember’s use of the product.

Stanski said he believes some of these initiatives gave them the edge over the other ACC organizations and ultimately led to their triumph.

“Sometimes it comes down to us being engaged with a commander and having a unique issue that the state hasn’t solved, the National Guard Bureau hasn’t solved, and the Air Force hasn’t solved,” he said. “So when we engage that issue, it helps everyone – not just the 125th Fighter Wing. As I’ve told Col. Downs, this is not really a legal award, it is an award that reflects the health of legal readiness in the wing.”

Col. Chris Brown, Air Combat Command staff judge advocate, presented the award to the 125th Fighter Wing JAG office during the August regularly scheduled drill. Brig. Gen. Michael Valle, assistant adjutant general-air, Florida Air National Guard, also attended to congratulate the team.