By Thomas Cieslak
U.S. Army Reserve Legal Command
Soldiers, civilians and distinguished guests of the U.S. Army Reserve Legal Command recently welcomed a new commander while reflecting on the unit’s distinguished service in the face of adversity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Brig. Gen. William Dyer III assumed command of the U.S. Army Reserve Legal Command from Brig. Gen. Marilyn Chiafullo during a ceremony held Friday, March 26 on Joint Base Myer Henderson Hall. Shortly after the change of command’s conclusion, Chiafullo’s service was celebrated and honored during a retirement ceremony.
Chiafullo led USARLC since April, 2019, focusing much of the unit’s training and operations towards integration with fellow Reserve and Active Duty components. She spearheaded efforts to develop and implement the Command’s Total Force Readiness Exercise, an arduous two week training event preparing Soldiers of the unit to provide expertise in austere, legally ambiguous environments.
“This is really one of the rare moments in our JAG [Judge Advocate General] Corps when Soldiers of the best law firm in the world and their Families get together and celebrate achievement,” said Lt. Gen. Charles Pede, Judge Advocate General of the United States Army.
Chiafullo oversaw mobilization of the Legal Command’s detachments in early 2020 to support of COVID-19 relief efforts. Within hours of notification, many of them mobilized to provide legal expertise to units responding to the then-expanding pandemic.
“You mobilized over 100 Judge Advocates and Paralegals with little more than 24 hours’ notice to support Soldier readiness protocols and procedure,” said Pede. “Soldiers were prepared to deploy and support the nation’s response to COVID around the world because of your profoundly important work and leadership.”
Prior to assuming command of USARLC, Dyer’s service included operational deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan and his most recent assignment as the Assistant Judge Advocate General for Military Law and Operations (IMA) in the Pentagon.
“I’m humbled at the immensity of the responsibility that has been placed in me and I’m eager to get about the business of doing our mission,” said Dyer to the assembled Soldiers, civilians and guests of the command.
The ceremony marked the first time in years Soldiers from USARLC’s 28 Legal Operations Detachments assembled in one place. The unit operates across more than 40 states, two overseas locations and in more than 100 cities, remaining poised to ensure the availability of legal subject matter expertise to commanders and leaders.
“I am so proud to be here and serve with you. I want to thank the people that have made my command so fantastic and successful,” said Chiafullo during her remarks. “It was your success, getting out of your way was my main job and helping you overcome obstacles when you needed that extra push. It was all done by you, and you’re doing it here today.”