FLEP law students maintain active duty status, with full pay and benefits, while earning a law degree. On Aug. 12, Herzog will begin a three-year law school at Vanderbilt University, in Nashville, Tenn., but he won't soon forget those who helped him reach his goal. Herzog's commander is confident in his ability to excel in future endeavors.
U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Andrew Herzog, 366th Comptroller Squadron deputy budget officer, conducts business June 5, 2013, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Herzog has been accepted into the Funded Legal Education Program and will attend law school at Vanderbilt University Aug. 12. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Shane M. Phipps/Released)
by Airman 1st Class Shane M. Phipps
366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
6/6/2013 - MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- Functioning as its own self-sufficient community, the Air Force holds more than 130 different career fields. From firefighters to pharmacists, numerous career fields all play a role in making the U.S. Air Force a global powerhouse. Few of these career fields however, are as sought-after and prestigious as an Air Force attorney, commonly referred to as a Judge Advocate General, or JAG.
One finance lieutenant has recently chased down his lofty aspiration of becoming one of these elite JAGs, and has been accepted into the highly competitive Funded Legal Education Program, or FLEP.
"My interest in law first began my sophomore year at the academy," said 1st Lt. Andrew Herzog, 366th Comptroller Squadron deputy budget officer and U.S. Air Force Academy graduate. "I took a law class and really enjoyed it. My teacher had gone through the FLEP, so that's really when I took notice of the program."
Under this program, active duty officers attend law school at minimal cost, continuing to earn their full pay and benefits.
The website, www.airforce.com explains "If you are currently serving in active duty but have ambitions to someday become a JAG attorney, you'll be excited to learn that every year we select a limited number of active duty officers to attend law school at Air Force expense. If you are selected to participate in FLEP, you'll receive your tuition, fees and a book allowance from the Air Force while continuing to serve on active duty. This means you'll get full pay, allowances and other benefits while you attend law school."
The website continues by emphasizing only the best possible candidates are selected into the program. It states:
"Only active duty officers may apply for FLEP. The selection process is competitive. Academic performance, extracurricular activities, community service, prior military record and work experience are all considered. The Judge Advocate General selects the best-qualified applicants based upon the recommendations of a board of senior judge advocates."
Herzog's leadership couldn't be prouder of what he has accomplished during his time with the finance office.
"Over his three years at Mountain Home, Andrew has done an amazing job and he will be missed in the squadron," said Lt. Col. David Stephens, 366th Comptroller Squadron commander. "His leadership and talent will be hard to replace."
Herzog enlisted the aid of his local legal office in order to put together the best possible package to be submitted and reviewed.
"I got a lot of help from our legal office to put the package together," said Herzog. "I actually sat down with the head of the legal office here. It was a fun process."
On Aug. 12, Herzog will begin a three-year law school at Vanderbilt University, in Nashville, Tenn., but he won't soon forget those who helped him reach his goal.
"I'm really looking forward to the challenge of it all," he said. "I've been lucky enough to have some really great opportunities since I've been here, and I've worked with some really great people. It's easy to lead when you're surrounded by greatness."
Herzog's commander is extremely confident in his ability to excel in his future endeavors.
"I know he'll continue to do great things in the Air Force, now as a JAG instead of a comptroller," said Stephens. "Making it into law school is a challenge, but making it into Vanderbilt, one of the nation's top law schools, is really impressive and confirms this is the right move for Andrew and the Air Force."
For Herzog's wife, selection into such an elite program comes as little surprise.
"I'm extremely proud of him," said 1st Lt. Brittney Herzog, 366th Medical Group clinical nurse. "He seems to always excel at everything he does, and I know this will be no exception."