The Military Spouse JD Network’s leadership and members were thrilled to attend the Army’s Military Spouse Attorney Recognition Ceremony this afternoon. In 2014, the Army JAG Corps launched its Military Spouse Attorney Hiring Program, which uses the flexibility in the Judge Advocate General’s excepted service hiring authority to place military spouse attorneys in vacant positions throughout the JAG Corps. The program has been a tremendous success and set the example for other military branches.

In its third year, the Army’s Military Spouse Attorney Recognition Ceremony honors the service and dedication of military spouse attorneys hired through the Army’s hiring program. This year’s honorees will be familiar to many of MSJDN’s members and supporters:

  • Ms. Catherine Cheney, OSJA, HQ, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)
  • Ms. Hannah Deardorff, OSJA, HQ, 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss
  • Ms. Crystal Girolami, OSJA, HQ, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence (USAACE) & Fort Rucker
  • Ms. Kiersan Lockard, OSJA, HQ, III Corps and Fort Hood
  • Ms. Amanda Medley, OSJA, HQ, III Corps and Fort Hood
  • Ms. Nancy Sanchez, OSJA, HQ, U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC)

The ceremony was a wonderful celebration of the huge impact military spouse attorneys have had on the Army JAG Corps–the special experience spouses bring to their work and their “burning desire” to improve everything they encounter.

As Lieutenant General Stuart W. Risch, the Judge Advocate General of the Army, shared:

  • The Army’s hiring program has made over 250 non-competitive appointments to military spouse attorneys since its inception in 2014. Currently, 160 military spouse attorneys work for the Army JAG Corps.
  • Over 50% of appointed military spouse attorneys are appointed to subsequent positions in recognition of their excellent performance.
  • Military spouse attorneys currently working for the Army have a combined 1200 years of experience, representing recent graduates and those with 25+ years of practice.
  • Military spouse attorneys serve across 63 different military specialties in 24 states and 7 foreign countries.
  • Military spouse attorneys come from Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine, and Coast Guard families and LTG Risch is “diligently working” on rounding out that list by recruiting Space Force spouses!

The COVID pandemic has had an undeniable impact on military spouse employment over the past two years and LTG Risch shared sobering statistics: 34% of military spouses have reported losing their jobs and 25% face reduced hours. Spouse employment has become a driving factor in the experience of military families, and 39% of military families report considering leaving the military due to difficulties surrounding spouse employment. The Army’s Military Spouse Attorney Hiring Program is a shining example of how the military can combat those numbers. The program serves to efficiently fill vacancies with qualified, determined professionals; it supports military spouses who often struggle to maintain and advance in their legal careers; and it paves a path for servicemembers to continue in uniform.

MSJDN is grateful to the Army JAG Corps for hiring and supporting military spouse attorneys and for celebrating their unparalleled contributions. Congratulations to this year’s honorees! Thank you for your service and leadership.

For information on how to register for the Army Military Spouse Hiring Program and be considered for future appointments, visit the JAG Corps website!