FORT JACKSON, S.C. — Spc. Tyson McClean, a light-wheeled vehicle mechanic with the 3-128th Infantry Battalion, might be a top barracks lawyer right now, but he ascribes to be a barracks judge someday.
“With the uptick in barracks law suits and an increasingly litigious barracks culture, we need the best barracks judges,” said McClean. “I’m ready. I’ve been studying at the bar for years. At least on Fridays, Saturdays, and Thirsty Thursdays.”
McClean is always ready to be the first to give advice on powers of attorneys, wills, divorces, and discharges (from military service and otherwise).
With his barracks law degree hanging proudly next to his undergraduate degree from the School of Hard Knocks, McClean hopes to continue to serve his fellow soldiers from the bench—or tool bench, on motorpool Mondays.
While most barracks lawyers practice independently, the barracks first circuit court of appeals meets weekly at the motor pool smoke pit. The talented few make it to the barracks supreme court and are allowed to set precedent in cases involving mail order bride immigration, getting caught with your cousin’s meth you were holding for him, and crashing your buddy’s car you were looking after while he was deployed. Appointments to the Barracks Supreme Court are for lifers.
“Barracks law school is tough, but a lot of people helped me out along the way,” added McClean. “I learned most of what I know when I got stuck doing the CO’s paperwork when I had that no standing profile. But my real education was when I had that bullshit Article 15 thrown at me, so I had to read the entire UCMJ to get out of it. I’m going to share that gift with the whole Army.”
Perpetual Captain contributed to this story.