Taxes and Soldiers

The last month has been perhaps the most exciting and most challenging of my short military career. As a legal assistance attorney, I had the opportunity to listen to and (occasionally) solve the legal issues of soldiers, retirees, and their family members. But the one thing normally lacking in a JAG officer's career is the opportunity to lead soldiers in a position of command. So it was with great enthusiasm that I accepted the assignment as the officer-in-charge of the installation tax center.

Sure, being in charge of a tax center would not strike most people as a glamorous job, and compared to an infantry company it is not the most glamorous command from a military perspective. But it is a great opportunity for me and I have thus far greatly enjoyed the experience. Whether it be working to get soldiers assigned to me from the various tenant units, or this week's training with the IRS, it has been a real change of pace from the legal work I did in my first six months in JAG.

I have sixteen soldiers working in my tax center, and though this has been the first week I have seen them in action, I am already thoroughly impressed. They are bright and inquisitive, despite the fact that federal income tax preparation is considered an annual nightmare by many Americans. The service we will provide our installation during the 2006 tax season is tremendous. Last year, the tax center services saved soldiers, retirees, and their families over $500,000 in preparation fees and processed nearly $6 million in refunds.

So if I have been remiss in blogging, that's the reason. It is also the reason I have not read as much as I would have liked, though my mini-World War I project is going pretty well and I'll be posting on it shortly. For now, just know that I am cruncing numbers, supervising some of America's finest, and loving every minute of it.