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Pott. County Assistant District Attorney deploys for military COVID-19 response

Kim Morava
Tanya Roland

As the nation deals with the pandemic of COVID-19, Pottawatomie County First Assistant District Attorney Tanya Roland has been activated with her U.S. Army Reserve unit.

Roland has been mobilized with her unit, the 377th Theater Sustainment Command, which is part of the Department of Defense response to fight COVID-19. The command is located in New Orleans, she said, and every branch of service is mobilized in the response.

And while coronavirus has had a global impact, the Louisiana area has been especially hard hit.

“Currently, the state has a significantly higher number of COVID-19 confirmed positive cases than Oklahoma,” she said. “Louisiana is exercising similar social distancing, tele-work, closure of restaurants (except for to-go orders) and closure of schools.”

While she works in legal matters for the district attorney’s office, that expertise is also used in her military deployment as she is a JAG officer in the U.S. Army Reserve and is the Chief of Legal Assistance in her unit.

“The 377th manages the movement of personnel, equipment and supplies throughout the United States in support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to defeat COVID-19,” she said.

As a Legal Assistance Attorney during COVID-19, she assists soldiers and provides legal advice to soldiers on legal issues such as drafting of a Last Will and Testament, Powers of Attorney, Advanced Directives, family law issues and more. As a JAG Officer, she is trained in other functional areas of her job and steps into any other role needed.

“While mobilized on this mission, the soldiers of the 377th are working on shifts and are working seven days a week to fulfill our mission,” she said. “The COVID-19 pandemic evolved quickly and is unlike anything in recent history.”

At the 377th, she said they take safety seriously and follow CDC recommended guidelines, so frequent hand washing, masks and social distancing are all part of her daily routine.

“Still, like any other citizen, whether home or away from home, I worry about the health and well-being of my family and friends and I worry about how this pandemic affects our local and national economy,” Roland said. “For me personally, it is a unique balancing of concerns for family and friends, all while focusing on my mission. My family, friends and my employer, the District Attorney's Office, are very supportive of my service in the Army Reserve.”

Roland has been in the Army Reserve for just over 17 years, with about six years of cumulative active duty.

And military service is a big part of her family.

Her Father, Harvey Nye, is a retired Major in the U.S. Air Force. Her husband, Kevin Roland, currently serves on Active duty in the Oklahoma Army National Guard, while son, Matthew Roland, is an active duty Airman in the USAF. Son Caleb Roland is a reservist in the Oklahoma Army National Guard.

“As a Soldier, I am a professional who cares deeply about my country and my mission in the Army Reserve. I am honored to answer the call and serve my country,” she said.

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