November 11, 2022
Today is Veterans Day, and Hartman King PC is fortunate to count veterans among our team of top environmental lawyers. To highlight how military service has enhanced our law firm, we sat down with Jon “J. R.” Parker. J. R. is a member of the Hartman King PC family. He represents a broad range of clients on local, state, and federal land-use, natural resources, energy, and environmental matters. He is also a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps—having served as both an active-duty JAG, and member of the Selective Reserves.
HK: Happy Veterans Day, J.R.! Tell us about your military service.
Parker: Happy Veterans Day. I joined the JAG Corps straight out of law school, in 2010, and I served on active duty until 2015. Since leaving active duty, I have continued to serve as a member of the Selective Reserves. Currently, I am assigned to a National Security Law unit, which supports several JAG Corps divisions, including the Navy Environmental Law division. My current assignment is particularly fulfilling because I get to use my significant environmental law expertise to benefit the JAG Corps and our country.
HK: What did you do on active duty?
Parker: I primarily served as a federal prosecutor—prosecuting cases involving conspiracies, frauds against the government, theft, narcotics, domestic violence, and sexual assault. I also served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney, prosecuting approximately 460 cases in Article III courts.
HK: Why did you join the Navy?
Parker: I always wanted to serve. Like most Americans, my family has a history of service. My great-grandfather was an island-hopping Marine, in the Pacific, during World War II. His brother was also in the Navy. My father-in-law is also a Navy veteran. He served as a member of the Navy’s Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT)—the predecessor of today’s Navy SEALs, during Vietnam. I believe that most of the opportunities I have capitalized on in my life were presented because I had the privilege of growing up in our amazing country. I owe a great deal of my success to that privilege and to those opportunities. Serving in the Navy is my way of trying to repay that debt.
HK: How did you join the Navy?
Parker: In 2010, following the economic recession in 2008, the economy was sluggish, and the legal job-market was stagnant. Having always wanted to serve, I considered commissioning as a JAG, and interviewed with both the Army and Navy, securing offers from both. Ultimately, I chose the Navy, because of my family’s Navy history, and because the Navy has better duty locations. After law school graduation, I was commissioned as a Naval Officer, through the JAG Corps Student Program.
HK: Any deployments?
Parker: Yes. Ironically, I never deployed while serving on active duty. It wasn’t until I joined the Selective Reserves that I was able to take advantage of an opportunity to voluntarily deploy to Africa, in 2019, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. While deployed to Djibouti, I served as the Chief of Operational Law for the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa.
HK: Any moments that stand out about your military service?
Parker: My deployment was, by far, the best and most rewarding part of my entire Navy experience. Many of the people I served with overseas have become lifelong friends. It was great to be part of such a dedicated group working together to achieve a common mission.
HK: What lessons have you learned from your military service?
Parker: Early on in my military career, I learned the importance of “blooming where you are planted” and doing well no matter where you are assigned. The military emphasizes flexibility and the ability to keep an open mind. If you do everything you can to succeed on each assignment—whether that assignment is seemingly insignificant or monumental—personal and professional success will follow.
HK: How has your JAG experience helped you in the civilian legal profession?
Parker: The JAG Corps has enabled me to develop a worldwide network of connections, mentorships, and friendships. I know attorneys from all walks of life who are experts in their field, across the legal spectrum. I can rely on their knowledge to benefit my clients, and they can do the same with me.
HK: Thank you for your service, J.R.!
How Hartman King PC Can Serve You:
J. R. is one of our many talented team members who actively represent numerous clients in litigation, project permitting and entitlements, compliance, enforcement defense, and real estate transactions involving contaminated property. For more information on the services we provide, please get in touch with us at: Contact@HartmanKingLaw.com.
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