Wes Hickman/Kevin Bishop
-- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) has been was sworn in as a reserve appellate military judge on the United States Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals. Graham is the only member of the U.S. Senate to serve in either a Guard or Reserve unit where he maintains the rank of Lt. Colonel.
The Court reviews and hears appeals of convictions by court-martial within the Air Force. The judges are appointed by the Judge Advocate General based upon their qualifications, judicial temperament and character. The Court of Criminal Appeals is the highest judicial body within the Air Force.
“It is a great honor and privilege to have been selected to serve on the Air Force Criminal Court of Appeals,” said Graham. “Over the past twenty years, the fine men and women of the United States Air Force have had a great impact on my life and I am excited about the opportunity to continue my service in this capacity.”
“One of the things that make this country great is the fact that rules matter,” said Graham. “In civilian courts and in the military we follow a set of laws. This separates us from our enemies and truly demonstrates our commitment to individual rights. I appreciate the responsibility of this court and pledge to uphold the high standards of the Constitution, the Air Force, and the Code of Military Justice.”
Graham joined the United States Air Force in 1982 and was assigned as an assistant staff judge advocate at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, South Carolina. In July 1983, he was selected to be the area defense counsel at Shaw, where he served until 1984. He was then selected to be a circuit trial counsel and was transferred to Rhein Mein Air Base, Germany. In July 1988, Graham separated from active duty, established a private law practice, and continued his military service in the South Carolina Air National Guard.
From 1988 to 1989 Graham was attached to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina as an individual mobilization augmentee. In April 1989, he became the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate of McEntire Air National Guard Base in Eastover, South Carolina. Graham later became the Staff Judge Advocate of McEntire and participated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in that capacity.
Upon his election to the U.S. House of Representatives, Graham joined the U.S. Air Force Reserves in 1995.