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Peoria Airman named Air Force’s top reserve paralegal

TSgt Jenna Calderone poses for an official portrait.

TSgt Jenna Calderone poses for an official portrait.

PEORIA, Ill. -- A paralegal with the 182nd Airlift Wing, Illinois Air National Guard, was named the winner of the David Westbrook Outstanding Air Reserve Component Non-Commissioned Officer Paralegal of the Year Award by the Air Force Judge Advocate General's Corps Aug. 16.

Tech. Sgt. Jenna Calderone was awarded in part due to demonstrating expertise in interviews, records of trials, investigations, Article 15s and court-martials. She was also responsible for attention to detail that identified $15,000 in wrongly garnished wages, devoting more than 50 hours to training other paralegals in trial processing procedures, and developing a procedural guide for recalling reservist personnel that leadership exhibited as a best practice for Air Force-wide use.

“It's no surprise to me that Tech. Sgt. Calderone was chosen for the Westbrook Award. She is meticulous in everything she does,” said Lt. Col. David Gorman, the judge advocate with the 182nd Airlift Wing. “Tech. Sgt. Calderone is truly a paralegal with few equals.”

Col. William Robertson, the commander of the 182nd Airlift Wing, echoed the sentiments.

“We are very proud of Tech. Sgt. Calderone. She is an outstanding representative of the 182nd Airlift Wing and Illinois Air National Guard,” he said. “Tech. Sgt. Calderone’s efforts both on- and off-duty are truly remarkable. Her hard work and efforts were noticed by her superiors and duly recognized. It is a great honor and no surprise. I am very happy to have her as part of our team.”

Calderone has served with the Air National Guard for eight years and has been on temporary active duty with the 43rd Air Mobility Operations Group at Pope Army Airfield, N.C., since October 2016. Prior to that, she volunteered for temporary duties at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C., Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., and Joint Base San Antonio Lackland AFB, Texas.

Her volunteerism showed outside of workhours as well, including off-duty service with the Air Force Ball committee, Salvation Army, Second Harvest Food Pantry and a Purple Heart recipient dinner.

“To me it still doesn’t feel real let alone a big deal. I feel as if I just did my job to the best of my abilities how the Air Force trained me,” said Calderone. “If a paralegal doesn’t do their job or excel at it, there could potentially be an appellate issue when it comes to military justice, which can affect someone's life and career or affect the legality of things when it comes to wills and powers of attorney.”

The annual David Westbrook Award recognizes the most outstanding Air Force reserve component paralegal based on initiative, skill, mission accomplishment, leadership and self-improvement.