WADS Guardsman recognized by Washington State Bar Association

  • Published
  • By Capt. Colette Muller
  • Western Air Defense Sector

The Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) awarded Deputy Staff Judge Advocate Maj. Danielle Rogowski of the Western Air Defense Sector, the 2019-2020 WSBA Public Service and Leadership Award.

The WSBA recognizes a young Washington State lawyer who demonstrated leadership in his or her local community, contributed to the legal profession and community, and whose actions and sacrifices clearly demonstrated going "above and beyond".

"I feel very honored to receive this award from the Bar Association," said Rogowski. "I think it's always important to remember that as Guardsmen, we are community members first, so it really means a lot to have the support of the community."

This past year has been a busy and challenging one for Rogowski.  In addition to performing the duties of her civilian job, a prosecutor in Kitsap County, and working 12 straight days in a row each month when she performs monthly drills with the Washington Air National Guard, Rogowski was activated on two separate occasions.

As the pandemic unfolded in April 2020 and Governor Jay Inslee activated hundreds of service members in the Washington National Guard to support their communities, Rogowski was activated to support a large food distribution operation at a warehouse in Seattle.  For 30 days, at a time when most Washingtonians were maintaining social distancing and staying at home, she drove from her home in Gig Harbor to Seattle, filling a leadership role and helping distribute millions of pounds of food to local families in need.  

Dani epitomizes the Citizen Airmen,” said Western Air Defense Sector Commander, Col. Scott C. Humphrey. “She looks for opportunities to make a greater impact on the wellbeing of Washington citizens, not afforded her in civilian life. We couldn’t be more proud that the WSBA recognized her sacrifice as well.”

Rogowski's service tour ended just in time for her wedding.  Within days of being married she was activated a second time, this time to help curb the civil unrest that threatened the many peaceful protesters demanding social and racial justice in the community.  The training for this mission was physically demanding and included riot control gear, an experience in stark contrast to her usual office work.  In the end, Rogowski filled a leadership role and supported a mission in Bellevue where the presence of the National Guard members stemmed looting and vandalism that occurred in that city.   

“Maj. Rogowski is awesome!” said Col. Raed Gyekis, 225th Air Defense Group commander.  “This crazy year has once again helped showcase the strength of our Guard membership, with hundreds of members like Dani supporting Food Banks and Civil Disturbances. She even found some daylight in there to get married! She is a credit to the Washington Air National Guard and the WSBA!”

Rogowski was a 2009 Air Force Academy graduate and became an aircraft maintenance officer during her active duty time.  She then graduated with a law degree from Seattle University in 2015, taking night classes while still active duty at Joint-Base Lewis McChord.  In 2015 she had a permanent change of station but in 2018 left active duty and returned to Washington state where she joined the Washington Air National Guard.