Category Archives: Military Feature

Frequent Flyer: Student flew from Seattle to Detroit for weekend classes at WMU-Cooley

A recent graduate of WMU-Cooley Law School who commuted to weekend classes from Seattle from Seattle, Mel Matias is a CPA and auditor with Boeing and is pictured in the cockpit of a Boeing 787 for delivery. Photo courtesy of Mel Matias.

A recent graduate of WMU-Cooley Law School who commuted to weekend classes from Seattle, Mel Matias is a CPA and auditor with Boeing and is pictured in the cockpit of a Boeing 787 for delivery. Photo courtesy of Mel Matias.

This article about WMU-Cooley Military Feature, Weekend Program student and recent graduate Melchor Matias was written by Legal News writer Sheila Pursglove and was originally published by the Legal News on Feb. 10, 2017. It is reprinted here with permission of The Detroit Legal News. WMU-Cooley is a military friendly and designated Yellow Ribbon School. We are proud of all our military students, faculty and graduates. Melchor is a retired Chief Personnelman from the U.S. Navy and traveled far and wide in his service to country and others. Beyond the United States, he served in the Philippines, Japan, Puerto Rico, Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong, and various places in Europe.

Melchor Matias flew from Seattle to Detroit every weekend to study for his J.D. at WMU-Cooley Law School-and graduated in January.

A CPA at Boeing in Seattle, Matias did licensing audits on royalty and technology contracts, and designed audit programs. His interaction with the lawyers of Fortune 100 companies sparked his interest in earning a law degree.

Because of his heavy travel assignments, a regular law school schedule was out of the question. But during a stopover in Detroit on a flight back from an audit in the United Kingdom, Matias spotted an item about Cooley Law School and its ABA-approved J.D. program on weekends.

“Because of the time difference and non-stop Delta flights between Seattle and DTW, it was a perfect plan,” he says. “Although my employer didn’t cover any tuition and travel, I had miles saved up from prior travels to kick start my commute. ”

Matias booked flights 3 to 6 months out each semester, to save costs. He had sufficient hotel points to kick start weekend stays, and car rental points.

“It all boiled down to planning ahead and all my work-related travel loyalty programs helped,” he says.

He was more than pleased with his experience at the Auburn Hills campus.

“Cooley has the most diverse group of students and the faculty members are very experienced and accommodating,” he says.

Beyond the rigorous legal studies and travel, Matias’s law school years were a personal struggle. In his first year, his mother was diagnosed with liver cancer, dying a month before his finals and he had to request special accommodation to take the exams. His father died the following year. Both parents had helped Matias, a single father, to raise his sons, Andy and Michael.

A year later, Michael was diagnosed with brain cancer a month before starting law school. Matias and Andy, who was in law school, each had to take a term break to be with Michael during his final 6 months.

“Had he survived, all three of us would be taking the bar exams this year,” Matias says. “Now, Andy and I are taking them this year-with all the thoughts and dedication for Michael.

“All these deaths followed one year after the other. It’s such a painful struggle, but life has to go on.”

Matias’s goal is to do an LLM in tax or corporate business and compliance, and he hopes to continue working in the legal business environment. He currently is working on applications for the LLM programs while studying for the bar exam.

“I’ve also been teaching at City University of Seattle, on and off for over 5 years, and would love to be in the academia and teach,” he says.

A native of Manila in the Philippines, Matias holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, and an MBA from Columbia College of Missouri at the campus in Marysville, Wash.

“I’ve always been fascinated with money-who isn’t! When I was 6, we had lots of fruit trees in our home in provincial Philippines. I would pedal around town with baskets full of avocados and mangoes and make enough money for my snacks the entire school year,” he says.

Matias previously served in the U.S. Navy, retiring as a Chief Personnelman. He traveled far and wide, with posts at Subic Bay in the Philippines; Okinawa, Yokosuka, and Sasebo in Japan; and Roosevelt Roads in Puerto Rico, as well as deployments and port visits to Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong, and various places in Europe.

In the United States he was stationed in San Diego; San Francisco; Port Hueneme in California; Meridian, Miss., Florida; and Denver, where he was a recruiter-“The most fun job I had in the Navy next to the SeaBees,” he says. He was deployed on the USS Sterett-and named his son Andrewsterett after the ship-and with the NMCB 5 (SeaBees).

During his Navy service, Matias provided tax assistance to military members and their families and the elderly through the volunteer income tax assistance (VITA) program-and once he passes the Washington state bar exam in July, vows to continue giving back to his community by providing affordable and/or pro-bono legal advice and assistance to the disenfranchised-“Including but not limited to the elderly, the military, the poor, the LGBQT community, single parents like me, students, and anyone struggling to be able to afford legal advise and representation to assert their rights,” he says.

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Military Feature Zaneta Adams: Disabled Iraqi War veteran gives back to veterans in law career

WMU-Cooley, as a military friendly and designated Yellow Ribbon School, talks to its military students, faculty and graduates about their journey from the military to law school and about their career goals. January 2017’s feature is WMU-Cooley graduate Zaneta Adams, a U.S. Army Retired PFC. She served eight years in the military, including her time with the U.S. Army National Guard, the Army Reserves, and Active Duty. After being severely injured during active duty, she made it her purpose to get a legal degree and serve her fellow brothers and sisters get the veteran benefits they so deserve. 

Military rank and title: U.S. Army Retired PFC

Why did you decide to go to law school: I decided to go to law school because I wanted to right injustices and help veterans fight for their VA benefits. I made the decision to attend WMU-Cooley because of its amazing scholarship programs, the fact that it is a yellow ribbon school (which saved me money), and its ideal location close to my home and work.

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Tell us about your military experience: I went into the Army because I loved the values that the Army had and I thought it would make me a better person.  I also wanted to give back and be of service to my country. I started in the Army when I was a junior in college.  I served eight years between my time with the U.S. Army National Guard, the Army Reserves, and Active Duty.

Career and future goals: I represent and do all my law-related duties at Williams Hughes Law firm in Muskegon, Michigan. My responsibilities include prosecuting and defending criminal cases, handling Family Law cases, processing Department of Veterans Affairs’ claims and appeals for veterans, and interviewing clients. My sincere hope is to educate, assist, and help veterans get their well-deserved benefits. I want to make Michigan the number one state where veterans receive their benefits. In addition, I work as a contractor with the Michigan Attorney General’s Office doing OKAY-2-SAY school and community presentations to help raise awareness of cyber bullying, child pornography, sexting, and cyber safety. My ultimate aspiration is to one day be a Michigan or U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

Tell us a little about you: I have been married for 18 years and have six children (two sets of twins). I am a disabled Iraqi War veteran (served in support of the war) who was severely injured after falling 10-11 feet from a deuce and half truck. At the time, I never would have imagined after my injury that I would have been able to successfully complete law school and serve my fellow brothers and sisters in arms in this way. WMU-Cooley people were patient, understanding, and very accommodating to the things I personally needed to succeed. One thing they gave me was the confidence in my own abilities. They encouraged me and let me know that my physical injury was not a barrier to law school given my sharp mind and my commitment and conviction to succeed in law school and in my career.

WMU-Cooley graduate Zaneta Adams with WMU-Cooley Assistant Dean Tracey Brame.

WMU-Cooley graduate Zaneta Adams with WMU-Cooley Assistant Dean Tracey Brame.

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Military Feature Brien Brockway: Military Background Great Training for Law School Success

WMU-Cooley, as a military friendly and designated Yellow Ribbon School, talks to its military students, faculty and graduates about their journey from the military to law school and about their career goals. This December, we feature WMU-Cooley law 1L student Brien Brockway, a U.S. Army Veteran. He was a Fire Team Leader with the infantry in Afghanistan. After careful consideration, he decided to change careers to allow more time with his family. That decision led him to law school at WMU-Cooley.

Military rank and title: U.S. Army Veteran, Fire Team Leader Specialist

Why did you decide to go to law school: I decided to go to law school for several reasons. First, for my personal knowledge. Second, for my family and the future of my children. Third, for those that I will serve in the future. At first, the idea of law seemed like a large and daunting task, but what I found was that my experience in the military, and the lessons I learned, really prepared me for what lay ahead in law school, like handling the stress and the workload. The professors have also been very good about setting students up for success. I am also working closely with the Academic and Career Services to start networking now to figure out my best fit and career path after law school.

Why did WMU-Cooley stand out for you: Although I like working in the military and service, I felt like there was something missing, so I did some research on law schools and WMU-Cooley made a lot of sense. They offered good scholarships and, most importantly, they offered part-time and evening classes, which was key since my wife and I work full-time and we have a family.

Career: My career took multiple turns. I have worked in lead abatement, education, and the military. Then after leaving the military, I pursued a degree in public administration knowing that I still wanted to be involved in some aspect of service. My present job is working with the Kalamazoo County Area Agency on Aging, working for veterans, and with veterans. After law school, my goal is to stay in southwest Michigan and practice business and civil law.

Tell us a little about you: I have lived in southwest Michigan since I was 11 years old. I completed my bachelors in history and theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville. I spent nearly 24 months in the Army National Guard and three years on Active Duty with 2-2 Infantry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division. After being discharged, I moved my family back to Kalamazoo, Michigan, then started law school at WMU-Cooley in May 2016.  My wife and I have been married seven years and we have three children.

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Military Feature Shawlonda Hallback: Simple Conversations Change Lives

WMU-Cooley, as a military friendly and designated Yellow Ribbon School, talks to its military students, faculty and graduates about their journey from the military to law school and about their career goals. We are thankful and grateful for the sacrifices our military service men and women make to keep us safe and preserve our freedoms. WMU-Cooley’s November monthly feature is WMU-Cooley Law School graduate Shawlonda Hallback. Shawlonda is a Retired U.S. Marine Corp Veteran.

Military rank and title: Retired U.S. Marine, U.S. Marine Corps

Why did you decide to go to law school and why did you choose WMU-Cooley: I knew I wanted to be an attorney since I was 16 years old. I remember taking a Mock Trial class in a high school English class and everything about it felt right. I loved what I was doing and it seemed to be my calling. My teacher thought so too. She told me that I would make a great lawyer – and I believed her. It was that moment that I decided that I was going to go to law school and be a lawyer. The only thing I didn’t know was when. After retiring from the U.S. Marine Corp, I felt I could follow that dream. I chose to attend WMU-Cooley as a second challenging career after retiring from the military because of its diversity and its flexibility for non-traditional students. WMU-Cooley made it possible for me to go to law school. And my family support made it a reality.

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Career description: I truly enjoyed my career with the U.S. Marine Corps. It was important work when my leadership and judgment accounted for several millions of dollars and numerous people. My responsibilities included Explosive Ordnance disposal, deconstruction, deployment, disarmament, and distribution of high explosive munitions. I was built to be a Marine, and honored to defend our borders and those other countries who needed our protection. It was gratifying to know that I was doing my part to keep people safe. When I think about kids, for instance, unknowingly walking into a field that might have old or unsafe bombs or explosives hiding, and in the blink of an eye a life is changed forever, I know what I am doing is valuable to society.

Career goals: My goals are clear for me. I want every person, no matter their lot in life, to have the legal representation they deserve and are owed in our democratic society. I think it’s critical that everyday people understand their rights under our Constitution and they have a say in how they are treated. It’s important to me to be able to ease people’s fears in a tangible way when they need help and guidance. All folks should have equal access to our legal system. There are two things I want to do, now that I am out of law school and an attorney. I want to provide very low-cost legal service to those in need. Translated, I plan to give pro bono services at 50 percent of my rate to under-served markets through grants I will acquire. The second focus I have is to support local efforts to end human trafficking. My belief is when you change the climate of human trafficking at the local level, you will make important changes beyond our borders and globally. It was during an elective called Slavery & Human Trafficking taught by WMU-Cooley Professor Stevie Swanson where my eyes were opened to the horrors of human trafficking. It became a very real passion of injustice for me. To think, I didn’t even realize that this existed. Now I look at people differently, even in the grocery store, and wonder, are these women and children victims of human trafficking – and many are. Victims are everywhere, including in our community.

Tell us a little about you: I enjoy doing work I feel is important to more than just me and my family. In fact, I get much enjoyment just talking to people; hearing their stories and listening to their problems, and working together to figure out solutions. Problem-solving is at the core of what we should try to do as good attorneys.  But it’s not always about me trying to solve someone else’s problems. It’s these simple conversations that can change lives. People are all tied together as human beings. It is our ability to come together that makes us better people. My family has been an important part of my life and why I have been able to find success along the way. Chevelle (Hallback) has been an anchor for me and throughout law school. Our sons, Michael Mitchell (25), stepson Terrick Russell (24), Joshua Mitchell (23), Christian Mitchell (21), and Jordan Barnes (20), also a Marine, have been a great source of strength and pride.

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The costs of war

As of 2014, the Department of Veterans Affairs is still paying a Civil War pension. The last surviving child of a Union veteran still receives a small, monthly pension payment 149 years after the Civil War ended.[1]

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In the final paragraph of President Lincoln’s second inaugural address, on  March 4, 1865, the president delivered his prescription for the nation’s recovery: “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

Irene Triplett’s pension, albeit small, stands as a reminder that the checks we wrote in wartime still must be honored long after the guns fall silent. The VA is also still paying benefits to 16 widows and children of veterans from the 1898 Spanish-American War. World War I ended a 100 years ago, and the last U.S. World War I veteran died in 2011. But 4,038 widows, sons and daughters get monthly VA pension or other payments. Our cost today, for that Great War of 100 years ago, our annual tab for surviving families comes to $16.5 million. Those payments don’t include the costs of fighting or caring for the veterans themselves. A Harvard University study last year projected the final bill for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars would hit $4 trillion to $6 trillion in the coming decades.

That is just money though. When we think of costs of war, the cost of national security, the phrase we use in the military is “blood and treasure[2].”

The “Butchers bill,” as the British used to say and General Milley recently revived the phrase. The reference then is to the so-called hidden costs of war. There are over 2.3 million American veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars (compared to 2.6 million Vietnam veterans who fought in Vietnam); there are 8.2 million “Vietnam Era Veterans” (personnel who served anywhere during any time of the Vietnam War).

And at least 20% of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have PTSD and/or Depression. (Military counselors I have interviewed state that, in their opinion, the percentage of veterans with PTSD is much higher; the number climbs higher when combined with TBI.) Other accepted studies have found a PTSD prevalence of 14%; see a complete review of PTSD prevalence studies, which quotes studies with findings ranging from 4 -17% of Iraq War veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. Some 50% of those with PTSD do not seek treatment — out of the half that do seek treatment, only half of those get “minimally adequate” treatment (RAND study). About 19% of veterans may have traumatic brain injury (TBI). Over 260,000 veterans from OIF and OEF so far have been diagnosed with TBI.

Seven percent of veterans have both post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. Rates of post-traumatic stress are greater for these wars than prior conflicts in times of peace. In any given year,  3.6% of the general population have PTSD (caused by natural disasters, car accidents, abuse, etc.). Recent statistical studies show that rates of veteran suicide are much higher than previously thought. PTSD distribution between services for OND, OIF, and OEF: Army 67% of cases, Air Force 9%, Navy 11%, and Marines 13%. (Congressional Research Service, Sept. 2010)

A recent sample of 600 veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan found: 14% post-traumatic stress disorder; 39% alcohol abuse; 3% drug abuse. Major depression also a problem. “Mental and Physical Health Status and Alcohol and Drug Use Following Return From Deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan.” (Susan V. Eisen, PhD).

More active duty personnel died by their own hand than in combat in 2012 (New York Times).

These statistics are sobering and often ignored. We all know soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines, who through multiple deployments recently, or one lengthy deployment in previous conflicts or wars, either did not return or returned scarred, altered either mentally or physically: The Marine with PTSD, the soldier with a burned or missing face, or a prosthetic, or multiple missing limbs.

And yet in some ways I was most struck by the public’s reaction to the single sentinel standing guard during Hurricane Sandy back in 2012, standing watch at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier during a hurricane. The photo quickly went viral. The nation reacting with respect, awe, inspired, by what to all of us, was simply, DUTY. The Army’s 3rd Infantry Regiment, “The Old Guard” have guarded the Tomb for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year regardless of the weather, since 1948. The Sentinel’s Creed which in part says “Through the years of diligence and praise and the discomfort of the elements, I will walk my tour in humble reverence to the best of my ability.” “I will walk my tour in humble reverence to the best of my ability”That really captures the sense of Duty, not just Duty, but with 2 other conditions – to the utmost of our abilities And, second, with humility and respect. In short, how many times have you said, “Proud to serve” sometimes you said it ironically, even sarcastically, but mostly you meant it.

Not just as a cliché, but deep down in your heart and gut.And so we return, we return from the Argonne and Huertgen Forests. From Anbar and Helmand Provinces. From Aberdeen and Hood. We return to the state, to the  community that raised us and put its mark on us, far before the Army or Marines ever did. And we still retain the soul of a sentinel. The spirit of a servant. You who do not, would not,  think twice of standing your post in hurricanes or patrolling dusty streets in Baghdad, or on heaving decks in blizzards.In our Army Values, we uphold the ethos of “selfless service.”

“The basic building block of selfless service is the commitment of each team member to go a little further, endure a little longer, and look a little closer to see how he or she can add to the effort.” (Army Values) “Public service” — I was raised that there was no higher calling than public service. Members of my family have fought in almost all of this country’s wars since the very first one. And, I am equally proud that they have served as educators, as teachers, and as religious leaders, for that same length of time, since our country was founded.

But, today, the term “public servant” is often equated with politician or bureaucrat. It has taken on a somewhat or somehow unsavory connotation, probably because too often politicians or bureaucrats have hidden behind the label of public servant. So think of yourself as a community servant. Or simply as a servant.  You have returned with that same spirit. Or, to return to my theme, as a servant-sentinel. Because while I am here today to publicly thank you for your service, to remind you that there is a grateful nation, and to remind that nation that they need to be ever grateful and more grateful. I am also here for a larger theme. Veterans, your country still needs you. They need you precisely because you have the soul of a sentinel, and the spirit of a servant.And, you must be a servant.

[1] Each month, Irene Triplett collects $73.13 from the Department of Veterans Affairs, a pension payment for her father’s military service — in the Civil War.More than 3 million men fought and 530,000 men died in the conflict between North and South. Pvt. Mose Triplett joined the rebels, deserted on the road to Gettysburg, defected to the Union and married so late in life to a woman so young (50 years younger than him) that their daughter Irene is today 86 years old — and the last child of any Civil War veteran still on the VA benefits rolls.

[2] Jonathan Swift, who was so fond of this phrase that he used it twice in a single sentence in this passage from his pamphlet The Publick Spirit of the Whigs, written in 1712:

“I cannot sufficiently commend our Ancestors for transmitting to us the Blessing of Liberty; yet having laid out their Blood and Treasure upon the Purchase, I do not see how they acted parsimoniously; because I can conceive nothing more generous than that of employing our Blood and Treasure for the Service of Others.”

mcdaniel21Blog author Brig. Gen. Michael C.H.  McDaniel, USA (ret.) is a professor and the director of WMU-Cooley’s Homeland and National Security Law Program. He served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense Strategy. His responsibilities included supervision of the Department of Defense Critical Infrastructure Protection Program and the Global Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection Policy.

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Military Feature Gary Bauer: Air Force Navigator-Bombardier Flying High in Legal Profession

WMU-Cooley, as a military friendly and designated Yellow Ribbon School, talks to its military students, faculty and graduates about their journey from the military to law school and about their career goals. October’s monthly feature is WMU-Cooley Law School Professor Gary Bauer. Professor Bauer was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and a Navigator-Bombardier on B-52 and KC 135 aircraft.

Military rank and title: Captain, U.S. Air Force, Navigator-Bombardier on B-52 and KC 135 aircraft

Decision to go to law school and why you choose WMU-Cooley: My decision was based upon a return on my investment. I was 38 when I attended law school for the first time. A person can practice law without limitations in spite of physical limitations as long the brain functions. So I figured the length of my career projected well into my 70s, if I chose to work that long. Also, the flexibility of a law degree gave me options geographically, subject matter choices, business settings, and whether I worked for someone else or independently. It was the return on my investment that drove my decision.

Professor Gary Bauer was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and Navigator-Bombardier. He proudly displays a photo in his office of the B-52 and KC 135 aircraft he flew during service.

Professor Gary Bauer was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and Navigator-Bombardier. He proudly displays a photo in his office of the B-52 and KC 135 aircraft he flew during service.

Military background: I spent six years in the Air Force after graduating from Purdue University. After my enlistment period was over, I went to work for a Japanese company as a Regional Sales Manager and covered up to five states. I did that for six years until the company pulled their operations out of the United States. It was then that I need to decide what to do for the rest of my life  –  law was it! No contest. This past summer I did a blog story I called Typhoon June and I got Personal. The story talks about about the time I flew right through a Typhoon, as ordered to do so, during the time of the Vietnam War. The story not only talks about the risks inherent with that task, but how, when you experience proximity to death, it changes you and makes it possible to better appreciate the life you have and what is really important in your life.

Future goals and why veterans make great lawyers: As a full-time professor of law, I love working with students who are hungry for knowledge and guidance, so I want to keep doing what I love to do — why would I want to do anything else? As far as why veterans make great lawyers, both military and a legal careers are perfect training in leadership. Plus, those with a military background know how to follow the chain of command, which is similar to the law and process. Individuals with a military background also know how to handle a competitive, adversarial system. You are trained to deal with the stress of combat and are able to make quick and accurate decisions – difficult decisions under stressful situations. I also feel that the military is a diverse and accepting culture, as is the law. There is a maturity about those in the military, along with their families. They know about responsibility, along with good time management skills and discipline. I also feel as though those with a military background have settled down – they have seen other cultures, experienced command subordination and the stresses of battle. Some would say they have hardened and are willing to follow instructions. It has been my experience that many of my very best students are former military members. Military students can also take advantage of the GI Bill – keeping debt load down or nearly zero at WMU-Cooley, especially if you attend part-time and remain working and take advantage of scholarships. Again, I truly feel that a legal career is one of the greatest and most versatile careers, in terms of location, subject matter and diversity of client base, and is one of the longest productive life career opportunities.

Tell us a little about you: Recently recognized by the American Bar Association with the Solo And Small Firm Trainer Award, also recognized this year by the Solo Section of the State Bar and will soon be awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for the work I do helping students find their path to success. I come from Fort Wayne, Indiana and I am one of 12 children raised to be independent and productive members of society. I have a blog, sololawyerbydesign.com which I highly recommend. Read “Is Your Client a 20 Footer?” or “Avoid the Dog in a Basket” which are just two of well over 100 posts. And for military vets, read my post concerning Typhoon June and how I had to fly right through it.

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Military and Legal Career Brings Promotion to WMU-Cooley Graduate Col. John Wojcik

John Wojcik has served his country well. Not only serving as the General Counsel for the Michigan National Guard, which is a joint military organization that has over 11,000 military and civilian employees, three air bases, and two Army posts, and over 50 military facilities, he serves and oversees all state, federal, and administrative litigation for the Guard, with authority over $500 million of federal contracting projects each year.

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Wojcik is also a nationally recognized Fiscal Law instructor and specializes in federal construction litigation, teaching in the areas of  federal contracting, federal employment law, environmental law, real estate leasing and procurement, federal administrative law, and military justice. He supervises a combination of 25 full-time and part-time attorneys and paralegals.

His outstanding service was recognized this summer in a promotion to Colonel. He received his new rank from his wife Kimberlie in a ceremony at Joint Forces Headquarters in Lansing, Michigan.

He has served as the general counsel for the Michigan National Guard since April 2002 and was appointed to his current position in May 2016.

A native of Edensburg, Pennsylvania, Wojcik graduated cum laude from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and was commissioned in 1993 into the Army Reserves as a distinguished military graduate from IUP’s ROTC program. He holds a J.D. from WMU-Cooley Law School. During Wojcik’s 26-year career, he has served in a variety of assignments including infantry mortar man, trial counsel, trial defense counsel, command judge advocate, and assistant state staff judge advocate.

In 2010, he deployed to Afghanistan and served as chief lawyer for a theater detention facility. In his current assignment, he is an adviser to the director of Military and Veterans Affairs, providing strategic legal coverage for approximately 11,000 members of the Michigan Army and Air National Guard.

Wojcik is extremely active in teaching military law to lawyers and was instrumental in creating the Ingham County Veterans Court and the Military and Veterans Section of the State Bar of Michigan. In May 2016, he published a guide to assist lawyers in handling family matters that involve service members. He has taught numerous courses at WMU-Cooley Law School.

Wojcik’s military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Achievement Medal, and the Afghanistan Campaign Medal.

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Parts of this article are reprinted by permission of the Detroit Legal News Publishing LLC, and was previously published in the Ingham County Legal News on Aug. 22, 2016. 

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