Section Awards

Each year, the Military and Veterans Law Section of the State Bar of Texas recognizes two outstanding military judge advocates at its Annual Meeting, held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the State Bar of Texas.

The Military and Veterans Law Section has created these annual awards to recognize the many accomplishments of our military lawyers, and to honor two of the section's early leaders. Here is a bit of background concerning the awards, the objectives behind them, and the lawyers they are intended to honor:

1. The Colonel Tom Krauska Award: From the active-component forces, the Military and Veterans Law Section presents "The Colonel Tom Krauska Award for Outstanding Service As An Active Duty Military Lawyer Stationed in Texas." The nominee may be a licensed attorney from any state, as long as he or she is stationed in Texas. Lawyers stationed in Texas, but temporarily deployed outside the state, are eligible.

2. The Colonel Ted E. Bailey, Jr. Award: From the reserve-component forces (i.e., reserve units and the National Guard), the Military and Veterans Law Section presents the "The Colonel Ted E. Bailey, Jr. Award for Outstanding Service as a Military Lawyer in Texas" to an outstanding reserve-component judge advocate who is a member of the Texas Bar. Eligible candidates may be assigned to a reserve component unit at any location.

3. The Colonel Bryan S. Spencer Award: The Military and Veterans Law Section (MVLS) of the State Bar of Texas presents this to a Texas attorney whose efforts throughout the preceding year best exemplify this legacy through the unselfish provision of legal assistance to Armed Forces personnel from or stationed in Texas and to Texas' Veterans, or whose efforts in encouraging, assisting, and supporting other attorneys in doing the same is particularly noteworthy. One award annually is authorized as determined by a voting committee of the MVLS. Previous recipients of this award include Past State Bar of Texas President Terry Tottenham, JoAnn Merica, and current State Bar of Texas President-Elect Allan DuBois. The legacy of Colonel Bryan S. Spencer (Ret.) for selfless legal service to our Nation's Armed Forces for almost half a century is unmatched. This award was established in 2011.

Who are Col Krauska, Col Bailey, and Col Spencer?

Colonel Tom Krauska (USAF Ret.) (1919-2006), Colonel Ted E. Bailey, Jr. (USAR Ret.), and Colonel Bryan S. Spencer are the early leaders of the Military Law Section. The Section was formed in 1958 to serve the active, reserve, and retired military judge advocates of the Bar and to focus on meeting the needs of military members in Texas. It is very appropriate that these awards, presented annually by the Military Law Section, are named after these outstanding leaders in the military and legal communities.

What do these awards recognize?

The awards recognize judge advocates' outstanding achievement and service to the civilian, military, and professional communities. The selected officers receive a beautiful plaque in recognition of their respective achievements.

Award Criteria

The Colonel Tom Krauska Award for Outstanding Service as a Military Lawyer in Texas

  • Active component Judge Advocate
  • Grade O-2 to O-4
  • Stationed in Texas, even if temporarily deployed outside the state
  • Based on service to the military, military community, and/or civilian community

>The Colonel Ted E. Bailey, Jr. Award for Outstanding Service as a Military Lawyer in Texas

  • >Texas Judge Advocate
  • Grade O-2 to O-4
  • Member of State Bar of Texas
  • Assigned to any reserve component unit of any branch of the service or member of the National Guard (if IRR, must have performed at least 14 days drill or active duty during the preceding calendar year)

>Common Nomination Criteria

  • No specific format is required.
  • No minimum or maximum length.
  • The nomination should befit the officer nominated for this award.
  • The nominee/recipient must be serving in a Judge Advocate billet/assignment.
  • The award selection committees will consider military performance, military duties, professional publications, awards and activities, and community/professional service.
  • Nominations should be made by the supervisor or Staff Judge Advocate, and should describe in detail why the individual is an outstanding military attorney.
  • Please include specific examples of outstanding performance of military duties.
  • The nomination may include professional publications, awards, activities, community service, and service to the State Bar.
  • If the nominating official previously nominated an officer who was not selected, the selection committees still have your earlier nomination on file. Simply send a letter nominating the officer again and give an update on his/her duties/performance since the earlier nomination.