Attorney Captures Elite Navy Legal Writing Award

     As the old adage goes, ‘the pen is mightier than the sword,’ but when that pen is wielded on behalf of the warfighter, a union of ink and steel bring successful mission accomplishment to bear.

Mark Golden, Counsel, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka, was recognized by the Department of the Navy, Office of the General Counsel (OGC), this past July with the 2013 Legal Writing Achievement Award.

Mark Golden, Counsel, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka, was recognized by the Department of the Navy, Office of the General Counsel (OGC), this past July with the 2013 Legal Writing Achievement Award.

     Mark Golden, Counsel, Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Yokosuka, was recognized by the Department of the Navy (DON), Office of the General Counsel (OGC) mid-July with the 2013 Legal Writing Achievement Award.

     The OGC has served the DON since 1941 and is committed to developing innovative legal solutions to the business and other challenges facing the Navy and Marine Corps to enhance the warfighting capability of the U.S. Navy.  Attorneys are stationed worldwide, working with Naval and Marine Corps personnel wherever the Navy conducts business.

     “Mark has been an invaluable asset to NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka addressing legal concerns in virtually every area of the law as it relates to our business,” said Capt. Marty Fields, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka, Commanding Officer.  “To have a subject matter expert on your team that understands the law and our business gives you an unparallel confidence to conduct your daily business while prudently managing risk.”

     The award recognizes outstanding legal writing by an attorney, paralegal or team who has produced written material that was of wide interest to the Navy community and dealt with issues having a significant impact on the service while also going above and beyond the routine correspondence produced in the course of daily duties.

     “I enjoy the opportunity to help people work through business-related issues,” Golden said.

     Golden, who graduated from law school and became an Air Force JAG in 1986, has been putting his legal expertise – in uniform and as a civilian – to work for the Department of Defense (DOD) ever since.  Having been with NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka since 2007, it brings him a great deal of satisfaction to know that his work is directly affecting the warfighter within the 7th Fleet area of operations.

     “The majority of the contracts on which I provide legal support directly support Navy ships and their crews in the accomplishment of their military mission,” he explained.

     Legal writing needs to be of high quality because it is often read by those who don’t have a separate, additional understanding of the facts, Golden emphasized, adding that the writing must clearly describe the facts and logically explain how those facts fit into a framework of analysis.

     “Mr. Golden’s command of the facts was impressive,” said Sandra Jumper, Counsel, NAVSUP, in reference to the body of work that earned Golden his award.  “His research and analysis were thorough.”

     The written advice provided by Golden was comprehensive, well-reasoned and provided an unambiguous recommendation, Jumper said, adding that, “his memo was a stellar work product.”

     Well aware that there are many fine writers across the Navy and its Office of General Counsel, Golden found it an honor to be recognized by his peers, adding that, “in this day and time it is a privilege to work as a civilian employee for the DOD.”

     Words express ideas and positions and describe facts, Golden said, adding, “I try to think logically through the steps I’m attempting to describe, keeping in mind the concepts I want to communicate.”

     When words are used less than exactly, that increases the probability that communication will be less than fully effective, he said.  “I often go through several drafts as part of an attempt to make the end product as clear and easy to understand as possible,” Golden said.

     It is through this drive for clarity and attention to detail that Golden has captured this elite Navy award in recognition of his talents as indentified by his leaders and peers.

     “He is a tireless, dedicated, outstanding attorney,” Jumper said.  “Sometimes, I think he really works 24/7.”

     As the leading legal expert for the Western Pacific region’s largest U.S. Navy logistics center, Golden assists the NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka command in accomplishing their mission to serve the Asia Pacific region’s forward deployed maritime warfighter with 24/7 operational logistics support integrating an extensive service provider network to deliver fuel, material, mail and supply chain services across the U.S. Navy’s largest geographical area of responsibility (AOR).

     While DOD continues to make its crucial pivot to the Asia Pacific region with thousands of Sailors and Marines operating their warships and aircraft on a daily basis in support of strengthening regional alliances, multi-national exercises as well as humanitarian missions, it cannot be overstated that one man with his nearly 30 years of legal expertise is offering a different kind of power projection – his pen.

Story and Photo by Sky Laron, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka Director of Corporate Communications