Assistant District Attorney Helps Troops in Iraq

By Cory Angell

U.S. Army Capt. Jason S. Frankenfield talks with a local citizen when reimbursing him for damage to his home. Frankenfield, a member of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, serves as the deputy command judge advocate for the 2nd Brigade Combat Team in Al Anbar, Iraq.

U.S. Army Photo

RAMADI, Iraq — When Capt. Jason S. Frankenfield decided to go to law school he could have never guessed that someday he would be practicing law in a combat zone. That is exactly where he finds himself today, in Al Anbar, the largest province in Iraq.

“Being away from home has been challenging,” said Frankenfield. “But I am tremendously proud to be a part of this mission and a member of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard.”

Frankenfield grew up in Towamencin Township, Montgomery County, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant from Valley Forge Military College then served as a tank platoon leader. He graduated from Villanova Law School in 2002 and went to work as an assistant district attorney in Berks County.

He was mobilized and deployed with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team to Al Anbar, one of the most dangerous provinces in Iraq. Eight days before deploying he was married to Melissa Kulp, a high school history teacher at Central Bucks East High School in Doylestown. While he was home on leave, he had the chance to speak to about 175 high school students and tell them about the mission in Iraq and the progress that they are making.

“In Iraq, I’m the deputy command judge advocate for the 2nd Brigade Combat Team and have a multifaceted law practice,” said Frankenfield. “I’ve represented soldiers as a legal assistance attorney on a variety of issues and have enjoyed helping soldiers through difficult situations and giving them a sense of peace of mind. Earlier today, I taught a tax class to a group of soldiers and have even helped some of our soldiers apply for U.S. citizenship.”

Frankenfield said as a claims attorney, he investigated and paid claims due to incidents involving soldiers and Iraqi civilians. He also had the chance to use his experience in criminal justice to advise commanders on various aspects of military justice and he prosecuted court-martial cases in Iraq as well.

The most rewarding aspect of his deployment has been as an operational law attorney. He said that’s where he has had the greatest effect on the mission by interaction with the troops.

“I’ve advised commanders on the rules of engagement and a host of operational issues and I’ve also taught the rules of engagement to our soldiers,” said Frankenfield.

“We reviewed incidents in sector with them as they continually encounter an incredibly challenging environment and provide security to the Iraqi people by defeating insurgents.

“These insurgents, routinely violate the law of war and often use civilians as shields and even as targets,” said Frankenfield. “It’s an honor to teach our soldiers, who conduct themselves with dignity and honor in such a difficult and complex environment.”

“As an attorney, an Army officer, and most of all a U.S. citizen, I am profoundly impressed with the care and concern of our military in following the law of war,” said Frankenfield. “They show respect for human life, and help the Iraqi people build a free, just, and democratic Iraq.”