Guardsman awarded as outstanding county attorney

Story by Capt. Gustave LaFontaine, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Mark Metcalf - Garrard County Attorney

Maj. Mark Metcalf, County Attorney for Garrard County, Ky., and Command Judge Advocate for the 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade receives the Outstanding County Attorney award from Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway in Lexington, Ky., Aug. 22, 2013. (Photo courtesy of the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office)

FRANKFORT, Ky. — For 19 years, Maj. Mark Metcalf has served several major commands as Command Judge Advocate in the Kentucky Army National Guard.   He also served as the Assistant Commonwealth Attorney of Kentucky and for the Justice Department during the Bush Administration.  Currently, Metcalf is in his twelfth year serving as the County Attorney for Garrard County.

On August 22nd, Metcalf was presented the Outstanding County Attorney Award for his service to Kentucky as County Attorney.  The award was reserved for two county attorneys in Kentucky.  Metcalf was presented the award by State Attorney General Jack Conway.

“It was a total surprise and a very humbling thing for me,” Metcalf said of the award. “I was glad to do the work. I was simply doing my job.”

During the awards presentation, Conway lauded Metcalf’s attention to detail.  He described Metcalf as “an exemplary special prosecutor.”

“I would also personally like to thank Mark for his service to our country. He served as Garrison Command Judge-Advocate at Victory Base Complex in Baghdad, Iraq with the 149th Brigade from Louisville. Mark’s commitment to his community and country are to be applauded,” said Conway.

Metcalf’s excellence as a county attorney lends itself to his duties as Command Judge Advocate in the Kentucky Guard.  Metcalf spoke about balancing duties as a servant of the Commonwealth both civilly and as a Soldier.

“The job as a county attorney and as Command Judge Advocate offer a unique experience because we are a Guard with a militia mission as well as an occasional federal mission.  The experience of one area lends information and experience that improves the other mission.  Both of them dovetail together very well and make me a better attorney for the Commonwealth and in my role as a military lawyer.”

Col. Michael Abell, commander of the 75th Troop Command, has served with Metcalf in various capacities over the course of their careers.  He spoke about Metcalf’s value to the 75th.

“Being a great Command Judge Advocate at the brigade level is more than being a fine lawyer and a Soldier. It is about understanding how a commander at this level builds trust with his subordinate leaders and Soldiers and how that trust underpins a positive command climate. Major Metcalf elevated his performance, understands his role as my Command Judge Advocate, and his advice, counsel, and work amplify what I’m able to do as a commander.”

Metcalf intends to continue his service to the Kentucky Army National Guard even as he approaches his twentieth year of service.  He spoke of what his duty as a Judge Advocate means to him.

“The idea of service and being part of a team that takes care of Kentuckians or Americans during difficult times [is] very attractive to me and it’s proved to be a very rewarding experience.  Taking care of Soldiers and taking care of commanders is a great responsibility and one that I cherish.”

His leaders cherish his service as well.

“I wouldn’t trade him for any other Command Judge Advocate in the Kentucky Army National Guard,” said Abell.

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