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News > Article Six team inspects Columbus AFB
Col. Jim Sears, 14th Flying Training Wing Commander and Chief Master Sgt. Vance Kondon, 14th FTW Command Chief greet Maj. Gen. Steven Lepper, Deputy Judge Advocate General upon arrival at Columbus Air Force Base Sept. 9. Lepper and Chief Master Sgt. Steven Wallace, Senior Paralegal Manager to The Judge Advocate General are visiting Columbus to conduct part-two of the 14th FTW JA Article Six Inspection. (U.S. Air Force Photo)
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Article Six team inspects Columbus AFB

Posted 9/11/2013   Updated 9/11/2013 Email story   Print story


by Airmen 1st Class Charles Dickens and Stephanie Englar
14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

9/11/2013 - COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- Maj. Gen. Steven Lepper, Deputy Judge Advocate General, Chief Master Sgt. Steven Wallace, Senior Paralegal Manager to The Judge Advocate General, and the Article Six team came to Columbus Air Force Base Sept. 9-10 to conduct part two of the Legal Office's Consolidated Unit Inspection.

The JAG Corps is the only unit that has two separate parts for the CUI. Part two is conducted to examine discrepancies from the first inspection, making sure that issues have been fixed, and don't reoccur.

"We go out to the field to assess the health of our military justice system and over the years that's evolved into our assessing the effectiveness of all of our legal offices and all of the areas in which they practice," said Lepper.

Lepper said that these inspections give him an opportunity not only to provide hands-on leadership but also learn how Airmen in the field are doing and how the Air Force operates outside of Washington D.C.

"When we come here we basically take a look at how the wing legal office is performing its job, how well it's supporting the commanders, Airmen and families here at Columbus Air Force Base and we offer suggestions of how to do it better based on our experience and our travel to other bases," said Lepper. "We cross-feed good ideas, we bring ideas from bases like Columbus to others we visit in the future and we provide professional guidance to the JAG, paralegals and the civilians in our legal offices."

"Since the military operates its own separate judicial system, it's important that we travel around and conduct these inspections to make sure offices are operating on an even keel and that they are doing the right things," said Wallace. "Especially in today's Air Force where there is a lot of focus on today's justice system. It's important for us to travel around and make sure we are operating that system the way it's supposed to be operated."

As Lepper and Wallace travel around from base to base, they try to take time out to mentor younger commissioned and enlisted Airmen about the Air Force and their careers.

"I have always believed that you are the best officer or enlisted person you can be if you are doing something that you enjoy doing," said Lepper. "What I counsel young officers and airmen to do is to find what they enjoy; there are a lot of opportunities in our Air Force, that's one of the great things about our organization."

Along with mentoring younger Airmen, Wallace said that they listen to what the younger Airmen have to say and take that back to the Pentagon with them and hold a meeting with those who run military justice general law. In the meeting they discuss how to make things better in the field.

By attending these meetings, the Judge Advocate General is able to oversee current challenges and determine the future of the United States Air Force.

"I would like everyone to know that while these challenges present difficulties, and while it's going to take us a lot of work to overcome them, I am confident that we will be able to get through all of these problems. Whether it's sequestration or sexual assault, conflict in the middle east or anywhere else on this planet, we've proven through our history that we can prevail over just about any adversity we encounter," said Lepper. "If there's one message that I can leave for those coming up behind me, it's that we just need to continue to trust in the talent and the resiliency of our Airmen and we'll be able to get through just about anything."

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