Schenck Receives Department of the Navy Superior Civilian Service Award

Associate Dean Lisa M. Schenck receives an award from Rear Admiral (Upper Half) Jay Bynum.
Associate Dean Lisa M. Schenck receives an award from Rear Admiral (Upper Half) Jay Bynum.
March 10, 2020

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Lisa M. Schenck received the Department of the Navy Superior Civilian Service Award (SCSA) at the Pentagon on Wednesday, January 15, 2020. This military award is the highest honorary award the Chief of Naval Operations or the Commandant of the Marine Corps may bestow on a civilian employee in the Department of the Navy. 

The SCSA is awarded to civilians who make contributions in a variety of areas ranging from successful project leadership and scientific or technical achievements to unusually heroic acts.

Associate Dean Schenck received the SCSA award for her work on the Executive Review Panel for the Comprehensive Review of the Navy and Marine Corps Uniformed Legal Communities. She was appointed to the position by the former Secretary of the Navy, Dick Spencer.

Photo of Associate Dean Schenck's award and medalAfter 112 days of review, Associate Dean Schenck and the other panel members recommended changes to culture, organization, education and training, resourcing, and unlawful command influence for both the Navy and Marines. The report included background and data for each focus area, which both services will use to implement formal changes in the future.

"For superior service in support of the Comprehensive Review of the Department of the Navy's Uniformed Legal Communities from August to December 2019," the award reads. "[Associate Dean Schenck's] devotion to duty represents exceptional cooperation with other Naval offices, Naval civilian employees, Federal agencies, and the private sector to result in wide-reaching impact to the entire Department of Nacy legal community. Colonel Schenck's dedicated support and exemplary performance reflected great credit upon herself and upheld the highest traditions of the Department of the Navy."

“It is an honor to be recognized for my work on the Executive Review Panel,” Dean Schenck said. “The work accomplished by this panel is imperative for the longevity and success of the Navy and Marines, and I was grateful for the chance to serve the United States in this way.”

Associate Dean Schenck has a long career of military service. Prior to joining GW Law in 2009, she served in the Army for more than 25 years, initially as a Signal Corps Officers, then as a judge, lawyer, and educator in the Judge Advocate General's Corps. She previously served as a military judge on the US Army Court of Criminal Appeals, received the Judge Advocates Association Outstanding Career Armed Services Attorney Award (Army), and was the first woman appointed as a Senior Judge on that court. 

Associate Dean Schenck concurrently served as an Associate Judge on the US Court of Military Commission Review (CMCR) after her appointment by the Secretary of Defense in 2007. In 2019, she was nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate and again sworn in as a Judge on the CMCR (a part-time judicial position), which reviews cases arising out of military commissions at Guantanamo. Associate Dean Schenck retired in 2008 as a US Army colonel and became the Senior Adviser to the Defense Task Force on Sexual Assault in the Military Services.