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Attorney called to serve

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As an attorney who was being deployed by the U.S. Navy Reserve to serve his country, there was no question that he would go. The support received from his firm for the year he was away made the experience manageable.

U.S. Navy Reserve Commander Rodney Retzner, a partner and chair of Krieg DeVault’s estate planning and administration practice group, has been in the U.S. Navy Reserve since the late 1990s. But he’s been with the U.S. Navy since he graduated from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 1990 with a degree in mechanical engineering.

In his last year at Rose-Hulman, he saw the Navy booth at a career fair and decided to enlist. While an active member of the Navy, he received his Master of Science in nuclear power, helped run a nuclear power plant in Charleston, S.C., and spent time on the USS Alabama – the submarine featured in the movie “Crimson Tide.”
 

IL_Navy03-15col U.S. Navy Reserve Commander Rodney Retzner, an attorney at Krieg DeVault in Carmel, served at U.S. Central Command in Florida for one year. He joined the Navy in 1990. (IL Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Jeffrey C. McDermott, Retzner’s friend and the executive partner to the firm’s Hamilton County offices, said he once saw Retzner’s very brief cameo when he caught a scene that was shot on the submarine while Retzner was serving there.

In 1995, Retzner went to University of Cincinnati College of Law and received his Juris Doctor in 1998. He’s worked for Krieg DeVault since that time. Until recently, his U.S. Navy and legal experience rarely, if ever, intersected. But in the last few years, he has had the opportunity to call on his experience with nuclear power as part of the firm’s alternative energy industry group.

When he told the management team that he may be mobilized in 2009, there was no question that they’d support him. Retzner said he had the option to bow out of the Navy if he didn’t want to be mobilized, but because he had never received that call before and had spent all those years as a reservist, there was no question in his mind that, if needed, he would go.

The firm had not experienced the deployment of a partner, McDermott said, at least not in recent history. They wanted to make it work for Retzner.

McDermott said the firm also considered Retzner’s wife, Denise, and their four sons, now ages 18, 10, 8, and 6, while Retzner was actively serving. The firm worked with Retzner on financial support for his family and his client relationships for the year he’d be away.

Retzner also said that he realized his job, no matter where he was deployed, would be much easier than what his wife, who would stay behind and need to run a house with four kids, would be faced with handling.

He returned to his practice in mid-January and the transition has been seamless. “Some of his clients may not have realized he was gone for a year,” McDermott said.

While on active military duty, Retzner kept in contact with clients and remained involved in their projects as much as he could, he said, as long as the work didn’t interfere with his military service. He was also able to visit his family at least once a month and would sometimes meet with clients while in the Indianapolis area.

The deployment

Retzner received orders in October 2009 that he would serve for one year starting in January 2010 at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla., working with the U.S. Central Command, a joint effort by all branches of the military to cover the area of the world between the European Command and Pacific Command. His role was to work in the Coalition Coordination Center to provide support for other countries involved in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He left home for active duty Jan. 8, 2010, and returned to his practice full time Jan. 10, 2011.

At one point, Retzner was told he might be sent to Iraq. The closest he got to the Middle East was a trip to Germany for a Central Command meeting in August 2010 that involved coalition forces from about 60 different countries.

His 2010 deployment also involved a rare intersection of his legal and military backgrounds. His first assignment was a desk officer’s role, focusing on five countries, and as the desk lead of the Maritime Operations Desk.

Less than a month after he started, he was promoted to oversee the operations side of the Coalition Coordination Center as deputy chief of operations. In that role, he was only a few steps under General David H. Petraeus, then later under General James Mattis.

There he used his skills of negotiation and contract writing, including memorandums of understanding between the U.S. and the countries involved with the coalition forces.

The efforts of Retzner and a team of officers produced new forces for Afghanistan from more than 10 partner nations, more than 4,000 coalition personnel who would support operations “Enduring Freedom,” “Iraqi Freedom,” and “International Security Assistance Force.” The team of officers also handled logistics and support for more than 50,000 coalition personnel already in Afghanistan.

At the end of his service, both Retzner and his wife received awards for their efforts. Retzner received the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and his wife received the Military Spouse Award from Army Major General Steven Hashem, a two-star general Retzner worked for during his deployment.

The certificate that was awarded with the medal to his wife, Retzner wrote, says it all: “The Spouse does not wear a uniform yet they serve their country. They do not acquire nor wear ribbons showing where they have been yet they go. They did not ask for the duty they perform yet they unwaveringly serve to their best ability. … The [medal] signifies the lonely nights you have spent and that you have kept the home fires burning … the unwavering devotion you have shown for your spouse and their service to their country. This Medal is gratefully given to those that do not ask, those that stay on the home front so that their spouse can serve for they also proudly serve their country.”

Retzner also reflected on a few historical events that occurred while he was on duty.

He witnessed Air Force cargo jets that took supplies to Haiti following the January 2010 earthquake; from his office window, he saw the U.S. president disembark from Air Force One when he visited; he was there when Central Command provided support to Poland after a number of that country’s high-ranking officials, including the president, died in an airplane accident; and he helped support people affected by flooding in Pakistan.

“Of course, my individual role there was minimal given the 3,000 other members on that staff but the contributions of U.S. Central Command, taken as a whole, had and continue to have significant, real world implications. It was truly a remarkable experience to be part of it,” he wrote.•

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  1. A high ranking Indiana supreme Court operative caught red handed leading a group using the uber offensive N word! She must denounce or be denounced! (Or not since she is an insider ... rules do not apply to them). Evidence here: http://m.indianacompanies.us/friends-educational-fund-for-negroes.364110.company.v2#top_info

  2. A high ranking bureaucrat with Ind sup court is heading up an organization celebrating the formal N word!!! She must resign and denounce! http://m.indianacompanies.us/friends-educational-fund-for-negroes.364110.company.v2#top_info

  3. ND2019, don't try to confuse the Left with facts. Their ideologies trump facts, trump due process, trump court rules, even trump federal statutes. I hold the proof if interested. Facts matter only to those who are not on an agenda-first mission.

  4. OK so I'll make this as short as I can. I got a call that my daughter was smoking in the bathroom only her and one other girl was questioned mind you four others left before them anyways they proceeded to interrogate my daughter about smoking and all this time I nor my parents got a phone call,they proceeded to go through her belongings and also pretty much striped searched my daughter including from what my mother said they looked at her Brest without my consent. I am furious also a couple months ago my son hurt his foot and I was never called and it got worse during the day but the way some of the teachers have been treating my kids they are not comfortable going to them because they feel like they are mean or don't care. This is unacceptable in my mind i should be able to send my kids to school without worry but now I worry how the adults there are treating them. I have a lot more but I wanted to know do I have any attempt at a lawsuit because like I said there is more that's just some of what my kids are going through. Please respond. Sincerely concerned single parent

  5. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. 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Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

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