USARPAC Soldiers compete in Best Paralegal competition

| May 11, 2017 | 0 Comments
Spc. Bryan C. Phan jumps a hurdle during the obstacle portion of the Best Paralegal Competition. Phan, who is from I Corp stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, was named Best Paralegal Soldier.

Spc. Bryan C. Phan jumps a hurdle during the obstacle portion of the Best Paralegal Competition. Phan, who is from I Corp stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, was named Best Paralegal Soldier.

Story and photos by
Sgt. Christopher McCullough
U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs

FORT SHAFTER — Twenty Soldiers and noncommissioned officers representing 18 commands from across the Pacific gathered in Hawaii to compete to become U.S. Army-Pacific’s Best Paralegal Soldier and Best Noncommissioned Officer of the Year.

Twenty Soldiers and noncommissioned officers representing different commands from across the Pacific gathered on Oahu from April 30 until May 5 for the Best Paralegal Competition. One of the tasks was the oral board, seen here.

Twenty Soldiers and noncommissioned officers representing different commands from across the Pacific gathered on Oahu from April 30 until May 5 for the Best Paralegal Competition. One of the tasks was the oral board, seen here.

The 10th annual Best Paralegal Competition, which took place from April 30 to May 5, was sponsored by the Judge Advocate General Corps, U.S. Army-Pacific.

“It brings the top paralegal NCOs and Soldiers together to not only compete against one another to determine a winner, but to learn from each other as well,” said Sgt. Maj. Jeremiah M. Fassler, command paralegal noncommissioned officer in charge. “In addition to the four-and-a-half days of competition, they also receive current operational law training specific to the Pacific, and the Soldiers are able to return to their commands with that information.”

Over the course of the week, competitors faced a series of mental and physical challenges at Fort Shafter, Aliamanu Military Reservation and Schofield Barracks.

Active and reserve Soldiers in the ranks of private first class to staff sergeant participated in this year’s competition.

The week began with basic warrior tasks and an oral board on Monday, May 1. It continued with land navigation, an obstacle course, a 12-mile ruck march, a physical fitness assessment and a written test.

“The competition is balanced out over four-and-a-half days with half of the events physically Soldier based, which really applies to the tenants of readiness and being fit and ready to go, and the other half have to do with technical competencies – how well they can do as a paralegal, balancing out their dual profession as a Soldier and a paralegal,” Fassler said.

The Best Paralegal Soldier and NCO were recognized on May 5, during the USARPAC’s Law Day Dining-Out at the Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel. Over 190 members of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps and their guests attended.

This year’s winners were Sgt. Weng Ong representing 25th Infantry Division and Spc. Bryan Phan from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, representing I Corps. Each received the Army Commendation Medal and awards from Veterans United and the Judge Advocate General’s Retired Non-Commissioned Officer Association. All participants received certificates of achievements.

Ong knows a thing or two about the annual competition. In 2014, he won the event as an enlisted Soldier when he was with the 45th Sustainment Brigade, then part of 8th Theater Sustainment Command. He also helped tutor last year’s winner, Spc. Timothy Snyder.

New to the competition this year was the Stewardship Award. This award is voted on by all of the competitors and given to the NCO or Soldier who best embodied good stewardship of the profession by displaying esprit de corps, motivation and the spirit of teamwork.

The Stewardship Award went to Spc. Leah Phipps from the 9th Mission Support Command, Fort Shafter Flats.

“It was an honor to observe the men and women in this completion,” said Col. George Smawley, USARPAC staff judge advocate. “Each of them sacrificed personally and professionally to get here, often winning local warrior challenge competitions at their home stations in Hawaii, Korea, Japan, Alaska or Fort Lewis. They are dedicated Soldiers and paralegal professionals who represent the very best of their generation, and who are the future of the JAG Corps and our Army.”

 

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