Mary Ritzmann - The Warrior Advocate

From the rigorous elements of the Marines to the intense courtrooms of Massachusetts, Lieutenant Colonel (retired) Mary Ritzmann has crafted a career of leadership, dedication, and unparalleled legal acumen. As a Warrior AdvocateTM who knows and understands the struggles of being a successful warrior in today’s complicated environment, Mary is focused on serving Warrior ClientsTM. 

Over three decades ago, she embarked on her journey as an enlisted Marine — a world where only the best thrives. Mary wasn’t just any enlisted Marine—she shone with unequaled potential. This led her to the grueling Marine Officer Candidate School in Quantico, where she didn’t just graduate—she seized the title of Honor Candidate, emerging at the top of her class.

Having completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of North Carolina simultaneously with her service in the USMC Reserves, Mary then studied law at UNC’s prestigious School of Law. It was there that she found her true calling: litigation. Her zeal was so profound that she earned a coveted internship at the prestigious Cambridge Office of the Committee for Public Counsel Services in Massachusetts.

Opting for the challenging path of a public defender in Springfield, Mary’s relentless commitment to justice remained unwavering, even as she transitioned from the Marine Corps to the Massachusetts National Guard in 2000. She subsequently started mastering her craft as a military lawyer at the Army Judge Advocate School in 2001. Four days after graduating, with the ink still wet on her graduation certificate, the world pivoted on its axis, and Mary was called to active duty. By January of 2002, she was on active duty in Germany, and she never looked back.

For the last twenty-one years, Mary has been the unwavering voice of justice for Warriors, whether as a Trial Defense Counsel, a Legal Assistance attorney, or as a Senior Defense Counsel. Mary also gained valuable knowledge along the way as a “government” attorney, concluding in her position as a Command Judge Advocate, before retiring from the U.S Army in early 2023, capping 30-years of military service.

Mary’s experience isn’t merely bound to the military; she’s been an influential figure in the civilian legal sector since 2003, with a boutique law practice offering guidance to Warriors, family members, and DA civilian employees on complicated family law and adverse administrative actions. Her fluency in German further solidifies her unmatched competence in handling legal matters in Germany.

Beyond the courtroom, Mary is a force to be reckoned with. But what makes her truly without equal is her exceptional perspective. As a mother to five German children and a fervent supporter of numerous refugee families in the Schweinfurt area, she has continuously pushed the envelope. Dedicating herself to understanding her adopted environment in Germany since coming off active duty, she has been an active participant in immigration and integration politics in Bavaria since 2009 as a founding member of the Integration Council of Schweinfurt. Working through the Integration Council, she has been instrumental in reshaping immigration politics. Her unwavering commitment is evident in her recent efforts including establishing a German course for Ukrainian refugees.

With Mary, Warrior ClientsTM don’t just find a military lawyer. Instead, they find a seasoned Warrior AdvocateTM, who is a relentless advocate and a peerless authority on local legal matters, especially for cases involving German institutional intricacies. When you’re navigating complex military justice and adverse administrative actions involving the complicated layers of German police, municipal, military, or judicial authorities—Mary Ritzmann isn’t just a military lawyer, she’s your unmatched ally.

Educational Background

University and Law School

  • University of North Carolina School of Law, J.D. 1998
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, B.A. 1995 (Majored in Peace, War and Defense, graduated with Honors)

Professional Education

  • University of Bamberg, Course in Integration and Immigration in Modern Germany (2020)
  • London School of Economics, Course in Business, International Relations and the Political Economy (2018)

Military Education

  • Command and General Staff College (2013)
  • JAG Graduate Course (2002)
  • 155th Basic Officer Leadership Course, Fort Benning, Georgia (2001)
  • JAG Officer Basic Course, Charlottesville, Virginia (2001)
  • USMC Officer Candidate School (1994)
  • USMC Basic Training (1993)

Professional Licenses & Memberships

  • Admitted to the bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (1999, BBO#640172)
  • Judge Advocates Association

Professional Legal Experience

Law Office of Mary Ritzmann

Law Office of Mary Ritzmann, Schweinfurt, Germany, 2003-2023.

Maintained a boutique military law practice advising active duty soldiers, family members, and DA civilian employees on matters of general tax, family law, and adverse administrative actions.  Assisted soldiers navigate the complexities of military actions involving German law enforcement, regulations, laws, and customs.

Command Judge Advocate

457th Civil Affairs Battalion, Command Judge Advocate, Grafenwöhr, 2013-2015.

Served as the legal advisor to the command team on all legal matters related to the operations, military justice, and administrative law matters.  

Senior Defense Counsel

European Field Office, 22nd Trial Defense Service Legal Operations Detachment, Senior Defense Counsel, 2011-2013.

Responsible for supervising USAR TDS Counsel in Europe, and advising USAR soldiers facing military justice actions including nonjudicial punishment, separation actions, and administrative separation boards. Provided suspect right to clients facing investigations by law enforcement agencies.

Military Magistrate

Germany (based in Schweinfurt) Military Magistrate, 2008-2010.

Review command and law enforcement request for search, and seizure authorizations for evidence sought during the investigation of crimes by Soldiers. Advised on matters of probable cause searches, including urinalyses.

Staff Attorney and Legal Assistance Attorney

2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Staff and Legal Assistance Attorney (IRR),  Schweinfurt, 2006-2008.

Backfilled weekly at the Schweinfurt Law Center advising clients on various legal assistance matters including performance evaluation appeals (NCOERs/OERs), Letters of Reprimand, family law and custody matters, and other actions requiring legal counsel.

Defense Counsel

22nd Trial Defense Services Legal Operations Detachment, Defense Counsel, 2003-2006.

Advised USAR clients facing military justice legal actions by the command including boards, separations, non-judicial punishment, and other adverse administrative actions.

Administrative Law Attorney

First Infantry Division, Administrative Law Attorney, Kitzingen, Germany, 2003.

Advised investigating officers conducting command directed investigations in accordance with AR 15-6, Reports of Survey (now FLIPLs), and Line of Duty Investigations. Reviewed proposed actions by command for legal sufficiency pertaining to use of government resources, private organizations, and other contemplated actions by the garrison command.

Trial Defense Counsel

U.S. Army Trial Defense Services, Trial  Defense Counsel, Schweinfurt/Würzburg, 2002-2003.

Responsible for defending Soldiers facing court-martial for violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), representing respondents in administrative separation boards and Boards of Inquiry, advising warriors on Article 15s and separation actions under the Notification Procedure.  As caseload permitted, consulted clients on adverse administrative actions such as General Officer Memorandums of Reprimand (GOMORs).

Staff Attorney

Massachusetts National Guard, Staff Attorney; Special Assignment to Cape Cod following 9/11 attacks, 1999-2001.

Personal Accomplishments

  • Abteilungsleiterin of Baseball, DJK-Schweinfurt (2022-present)
  • Vorstandsvorsitzende, Förderverein der Walther-Rathenau-Schulen in Schweinfurt (2022-present)
  • Founder and Manager of Baseball Youth Program in Schweinfurt (2016-2022)
  • Member, Zonta International (2016-present)
  • Founder and 2. Vorsitzende of Panamericanos Schweinfurt, e.V. (2013-present)
  • Member of Integration Council of the City of Schweinfurt (2009-2021)
  • Vorsitzende des Elternbeirats, Kerschensteiner Grundschule, Schweinfurt (2012-2014)
  • Member, Schweinfurt Kammerorchester (2002-present) and Bayerisches Juristenorchester (2009-present), 1. Violoncello

Your Warrior Law TeamTM – The Law Office of Will M. Helixon – Your Warrior AdvocatesTM

The Law Office of Will M. Helixon, your Warrior Law TeamTM, with over a century of combined legal experience, has served as Warrior AdvocatesTM in multiple complex and high-profile military cases.  Founded in 2015, and rebranded and relaunched on October 14, 2023, the Warrior AdvocatesTM of the firm represent Warrior ClientsTM in most military law cases, including military justice matters, adverse administrative actions, complex legal assistance issues, affirmative administrative actions, and fundamental military employment problems.

Our Warrior AdvocatesTM defend Warrior ClientsTM in military justice matters including courts-martial ranging from premeditated murder to rape and sexual assault, from BAH fraud to DUI and drug offense, and military offenses from maltreatment of subordinates and sexual harassment to violating lawful orders and insubordination. Our Warrior AdvocatesTM also represent Warrior ClientsTM pending law enforcement investigations, at administrative boards and non-judicial punishment hearings, and in involuntary separations and “chapter” actions alleging misconduct.

Experts in rebutting adverse administrative actions, our Warrior AdvocatesTM represent Warrior ClientsTM facing command-directed investigations and AR 15-6 investigations, responding to adverse findings of investigations and AAIP filings, and answering notices seeking to revoke security clearances and professional de-credentialing.

Pending the need for legal advice for complex legal assistance questions, Warrior ClientsTM routinely rely on our Warrior AdvocatesTM in responding to GOMORs, letters of reprimand, and referred, relief for cause, and negative performance evaluations (NCOERs and OERs), assisting with medical issues such as MEBs and PEBs, navigating centralized board actions such as applications to the service component Board of Correction of Military Records (BCMRs) and Discharge Review Boards, and answering QMP Boards, the DASEB, the AGDRB, SSRBs, and other service-specific boards.

When our Warrior ClientsTM suffer wrongs by their command or fellow service members, our Warrior AdvocatesTM advise and assist submitting Inspector General (IG) complaints, Equal Opportunity (EO) complaints, and Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) grievances and filing complaints and claims under Article 138 UCMJ (remedying command wrongs) and Article 139 UCMJ (compensation for wrongful taking/damage to personal property).

Our Warrior AdvocatesTM also assist Warrior ClientsTM with basic military employment issues including responding to notices of suspensions and terminations and submitting initial applications with the EEOC and MSPB.

Call our Warrior AdvocatesTM at the Law Office of Will M. Helixon, your Warrior Law TeamTM, today to help with your legal issues in Germany, Poland, and the United States.  All our Warrior AdvocatesTM maintain licenses to practice before all military trial courts.Our Warrior AdvocatesTM also assist Warrior ClientsTM with basic military employment issues including responding to notices of suspensions and terminations and submitting initial applications with the EEOC and MSPB.


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