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Military news: Matthew Castillo

Army Staff Sgt. Matthew C. Castillo attended the Paralegal Warrior Training Course at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin. This class, with has been held every July since 2006, is designed to train paralegal Soldiers from the ranks of private to master sergeant methods to support legal operations of the reserve components of the U.S. Army, U.S. Army Reserve and the U.S. Army National Guard.

The two-week course is based on a “crawl-walk-run” philosophy of training.

First, students “crawl,” gaining skills in the classroom, needed to support commanders and military attorneys. The course focuses on, military justice - enforcing good order and discipline across the Reserve Components, administrative separations - basically “firing” a Soldier and ending their career, and operational law - laws that govern war and dictate how U.S. forces handle prisoners of war and civilians on the battlefield.

Next, students “walk,” working in groups of 30-40 Soldiers as a functioning, simulated legal office. In this stage, instructors role play as clients and commanders requesting various legal actions and resolution to problems.

Finally, the “run” phase; students are taken to a large, simulated village where, for three days, they both operate a full legal office in an austere environment, again with role players and legal situations to research and resolve, and take part in missions against a simulated uniformed hostile force that is attempting to retake an area recently liberated by the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division.

Castillo is serving as a paralegal specialist with 84th Troop Command, Minnesota National Guard, Minn. He is the son of Mary E. and Michael R. Castillo of Cannon Falls.