LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas—Capt. Tiffany Sykes, 47th Flying Training Wing assistant staff judge advocate, was chosen by wing leadership to be the “XLer” of the week, for the week of Sept. 4, 2018, at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas.
The “XLer” award, presented by Col. Charlie Velino, 47th Flying Training Wing commander, is given to those who consistently make outstanding contributions to their unit and the Laughlin mission.
Sykes, a native Philadelphian, pushed her unit to excellence during their inspection by revamping their military justice program, speeding up the non-judicial punishment to discharge process as well as boosting the Victim Witness Assistance Program, or VWAP. She went above and beyond, briefing, training and connecting with multiple different base agencies to make sure victims get the absolute best care possible.
“Communication is key to everything,” Sykes said. “By opening lines of communication, talking to folks face to face rather than through email, and informing decision makers, we are all able to do our job better.”
She was handpicked by Air Education and Training Command to represent the Air Force at a joint special victim unit investigations course, bringing back new ways to combat sexual assault investigations.
“I learned about how investigators work a case from start to finish. I learned from experts about the science behind victim and suspect behavior,” Sykes said. “This course made me a better litigator and attorney and helped me build trial advocacy skills that I can share in the future with other attorneys, investigators and paralegals.”
Sykes was also picked to recruit at the Heartland Diversity Legal Job Fair, sharing the mission with 24 applicants. She shared experience not only with recruits, but with 19 paralegals at an introductory sexual assault litigation course, bringing more attention to case management in Texas as a whole.
Lastly, she was selected to salvage a court-martial-in-need, bringing four victim’s testimonies to the fight, fixing the case.
“I wouldn't say I was key, but I did interview several key victims and informed them of their rights and resources available to them,” Sykes explained. “Establishing rapport and relationships is important -- I've done my best to do exactly that.”
Through her contributions and efforts to make her community a better place through communicating, learning, teaching and defending, Capt. Tiffany Sykes was awarded the “XLer of the Week.”