Vol. 84, No. 3, March 2011
Tangible Ways to Support Military Service Members
I write to thank President Jim Boll for his January 2011 article offering appreciation for Wisconsin military veterans. As a 21-year member of the State Bar of Wisconsin who previously served five years on active duty in the Navy JAG Corps, I wanted to recognize that article and share tangible methods by which members of the Bar can actively support military service.
1) When a service member asks to take time off from work to serve in the JAG Corps, please do not make them use vacation time to do so.
2) When a service member gets called up to active duty as a reservist or member of the guard, please meet with them and tell them their job is safe when they return.
3) When a service member has to perform military service over a weekend, please let them leave early, so they don’t have to drive long distances at night after work.
4) When a service member volunteers to join the military, please support their decision, and offer to provide benefits for their family until the military benefits start.
5) When a service member comes back from military legal service, please ask them to share their legal knowledge gained in the service with their coworkers.
6) When a service member comes back from military service, please don’t count the time they spent in the military against them when it comes to promotions and vacation allotments.
7) When a service member is injured during military service, please welcome them back with reasonable accommodations.
8) When a service member has spent long periods of time away from their family, please offer them paid time off to reunite with their loved ones.
9) When a service member has “minimum hours they must bill” to be retained and rewarded by a law firm, please count their time spent on active duty toward that requirement.
10) When a service member is having a hard time readjusting to civilian work and family life, please be understanding.
The legal profession is often too harsh on its own members. We need to create better work environments for military members, and for all lawyers in the profession. Each legal office, whether in the private or the public sector, can do its part. Each of us must assist those who give so much to protect our nation and our nation’s interests.
Fair winds and following seas,
Atty. Charles Facktor
Former Lieutenant Commander
Navy JAG Corps