NEWS | Sept. 1, 2015

JB Charleston Airman named AF JAG's Outstanding Reserve Paralegal SNCO of the Year

By Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs office

Master Sgt. John Heckman, 628th Air Base Wing Judge Advocate General superintendent, was recently named this year's recipient of the Stadler Award. The award is given to the Air Force's Judge Advocate Generals Outstanding Reserve Paralegal Senior Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year.

The Andrew Stadler award is based upon demonstrated leadership, management skills, demonstrated excellence, superior initiative, and attorney/paralegal teaming.

"Master Sgt. Heckman epitomizes what the Total Force is all about in the JAG Corps," said Lt. Col. Brian Thompson, 628th ABW Judge Advocated commander. "As our Law Office Superintendent, he led 12 of our active duty Airmen, 6 civilians and 4 reservists to great success at the busiest legal office in the Command.  His active participation in all aspects of our military justice processes solidified good order and discipline across Joint Base Charleston.  His innovation in providing legal assistance to the greater JB Charleston community ensured that those who have served, those who serve and their families were well taken care of for all their legal needs."   

For the past year, Heckman served as the 628th Air Base Wing JA office superintendent. As a traditional Air Force Reservist, he serves as the Individual Mobilization Augmentee Paralegal.

"It's amazing," said Heckman. "I feel that this award is recognition of the efforts of the entire Joint Base Charleston Legal Office for the past year. We worked hard and accomplished much together and I was fortunate enough to have been nominated."

Some of Heckman's accomplishments included facilitating a unit mentorship panel and writing courses, creating an in-processing checklist for new staff members and revamping the unfavorable information file program for two wings. His monthly UIF inspection plan identified more than 40 errors for correction to help ensure unit compliance. In addition, to help streamline claims process and history, he built a multi-year claims tracking tool to track claims for up to 3 years.

"I believe any award for an individual reflects the organization he or she is a part of," Heckman added. "I am very proud of the wingmen I have in the legal office and very proud to serve the military community."