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NEWS | Nov. 10, 2022

U.S. Air Force honors 87th ABW JA with Legal Office of the Year award

By Daniel Barney Joint Base MDL Public Affairs

Congratulations are in order for the 87th Air Base Wing Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, located on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, for winning the U.S. Air Force Legal Office of the Year award. With pride and enthusiasm, U.S. Air Force Col. Wes Adams, JB MDL and 87th ABW commander, presented the award to the 87th ABW JA staff. David Castro, 87th ABW JA Chief of Civil Law, expressed his excitement, while also complimented the team for their hard work, “excellent” customer support service, and displaying a strong leadership presence around the work center, as reasons why the office received this honor.

“When I first heard the news about my staff receiving the award, I thought to myself, ‘Pinch me, I must be dreaming.’ Luckily, it was a dream come true and I was filled with overwhelming joy,” said Castro. “During my time working with 87th ABW JA, this was the first time that our office won an Air Force level award. It was very humbling to receive such an impressive achievement.”

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Alexandra Walsh, 87th ABW JA NCOIC of Military Justice, credited the recognition to hard work, persistence, and camaraderie of all team members.

“I really like the team that we have. The office has a bunch of great people, and we work well together. Also, I enjoy the work that we do for the base, and the impact we have on the mission,” Walsh said. “When our team work hard for each other, we win as one!”

The 87th ABW JA office received the award through noted achievements such as: designing the base’s first ever senior leader legal symposium, executing live, interactive mock trials in collaboration with the First Term Airman Center (FTAC), and being responsible in supporting all legal matters and situations around the Air Mobility Command, including the joint base community.

In addition to the team award, U.S. Air Force Maj. Meghan Glines-Barney, 87th ABW JA Deputy of Staff Judge Advocate, won the Outstanding Judge Advocate of the Year award, and U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Alexandra Walsh, 87th ABW JA NCOIC of Military Justice, won the Outstanding Noncommissioned Officer Paralegal of the Year award, from the Air Mobility Command.

Being in supervisory roles under the 87th ABW JA office, Walsh and Castro mentored their staff members by giving them helpful advice on how to perform and manage their own set of job duties and responsibilities, without feeling stressed and undervalued to the joint base.

“From an enlisted perspective, I tend to share as much experience and knowledge I learned from my military experience to train our junior-level paralegals,” said Walsh. “Displaying great leadership and mentorship skills are the most important values I cherish when helping my team to grow in this career field.”

Castro reiterated that without good leaders and teammates, this accomplishment would not have been possible.

“Good people will always rise to the occasion. If more experienced workers give less experienced workers the opportunity to learn their trades through excellent leadership and teamwork, then the team will become not only a great asset to the office, but also to the Total Force. I am very fortunate to work alongside with good people to fulfill our daily mission objectives.”