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My Coast Guard
Commentary | April 23, 2024

Coast Guard Legal Program awards the first program insignia

By CGJAG Staff

On Tuesday, April 16, 2024, Coast Guard Judge Advocates General (CGJAG) became the first program to present a qualification insignia developed after the Commandant expanded the opportunity to create new qualification insignia. 

CGJAG was the first program to develop a proposal and one of the first to be approved. 

In a ceremony before 55 senior Coast Guard judge advocates, civilian attorneys, and support personnel, the insignia was presented to representatives of the CGJAG workforce – Lt. Cmdr. Brett McCall, for officers, Petty Officer 1st Class Jana Leahy for enlisted, Capt. Lynn Singband for reservists, and Coast Guard Court of Criminal Appeals Chief Judge Lane McClelland for civilians.   

Also receiving the insignia were six former Judge Advocates General and Chief Counsel, including the Vice Commandant, Rear Adm. Melissa Bert, Rear Adm. Fred Kenny, Rear Adm. Bill Baumgartner, Rear Adm. John Crowley, and Rear Adm. Bob Duncan, who was the first Chief Counsel to become Judge Advocate General in 2003. Adm. Poulin presented insignia #001 to Cal Lederer, current Deputy Judge Advocate General, who served as Acting Judge Advocate General during the Deepwater Horizon response.   

In announcing the expansion of Coast Guard insignia in 2022, the Commandant said that all personnel who achieve excellence in their specialty should have an opportunity to represent their excellence through insignia, whether active, reserve, or civilian.  

The CGJAG insignia is based on a concept proposed by Lt.Cmdr. Brett McCall and was expertly developed by Laura Young of the Personnel Service Center, under the oversight of Capt. Shannel King, Chief of the Personnel Support Division, who is also the first female African-American judge advocate to obtain the rank of Captain. The core elements of the insignia are a lighthouse surrounded by a wreath, a quill pen, a trident, and waves.  

The permanent CGJAG insignia is a mark of professionalism and unity in the Coast Guard legal program across all areas of practice and expertise. It will be awarded after five years serving in legal positions, among other criteria.  The insignia is expected to be available through the Coast Guard exchange in the next several months. Head here to read more on the new insignia and awarding qualifications. 


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