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Lt. Col. Scott Woodard, the staff judge advocate for 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward), gives a class on rules of engagement and escalation of force aboard Camp Al Taqaddum, Iraq, May 19, 2009. Woodard is this year’s recipient of the Judge Advocate Association's Outstanding Career Armed Services Attorney Award. (U.S. Marine Corps photograph by Lance Cpl. Melissa A. Latty)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Melissa A. Latty

Professional accomplishments, selfless contributions earn Marine lawyer award

29 May 2009 | Lance Cpl. Melissa A. Latty

The staff judge advocate for the 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward), stood out amongst his peers when he received the Judge Advocate Association’s Outstanding Career Armed Services Attorney Award at Camp Al Taqaddum, Iraq, May 16.

Lt. Col. Scott Woodard was nominated for the award for his outstanding performance during his Marine Corps career as a judge advocate.

Annually, the JAA recognizes outstanding achievements by career attorneys serving as judge advocates. Nominees are evaluated on professional accomplishments, service to community, leadership, service to the legal profession and development of subordinates.

Among many other billets, Woodard has served at the Legal Service Support Section of both the 1st and 2nd Marine Logistics Groups, which are the two largest law centers in the Marine Corps. He also served as the senior Marine Corps instructor at the Naval Justice School, the military occupational school for both enlisted personnel and officers in the legal field.

"Woodard built his impeccable reputation through various billets in all areas of military law,” stated Lt. Col. John M. Henry, the Camp Lejeune, N.C., Legal Service Support Section officer-in-charge, who nominated Woodard for the award. “These billets instilled in him a wealth of experience, keen litigation skills and a tireless advocacy that has made him a crucial and valuable asset to any military commander – the ultimate goal of any judge advocate.”

Woodard is currently deployed to Iraq serving as the staff judge advocate and as the senior legal advisor to more than 5,000 members of his command.

He directly advises the 2nd MLG (Fwd) commanding general and all subordinate commanders on operational, international, administrative, fiscal and civil law issues, as well as all military justice matters.

On top of this, Woodard provides legal training to ensure the Marines and sailors of 2nd MLG (Fwd) are aware of, and comply with all orders and regulations that are to be followed while in Iraq.

Whether in the classroom, courtroom, or in the sands of the Middle East, Woodard has made an impression on everyone he has worked with.  These lasting impressions, along with the billets he has filled, are the reason for the experienced judge advocate’s success.

 “This award is different from most awards given in the Marine Corps,” Woodard said. “It doesn’t just recognize one thing. It doesn’t just recognize your professional life. It has to do with community involvement as well.”

Despite his busy life as a judge advocate, Woodard has a notable record of being involved in his local community, schools and non-profit organizations in the States.

Woodard has volunteered to coach youth sports, judge academic competitions and projects, and has even coached and judged middle and high school trial advocacy teams.

Woodard’s professional accomplishments along with his civic contributions are what landed him on top for this year’s award. 

 “It’s really humbling to have been chosen as the recipient for this award,” Woodard said. “I didn’t receive this award because of what I did. It’s what the people I have worked for have allowed me to do. I have been given the opportunity to do things that don’t typically come with the job. I also owe a lot to the Marines who have worked for me, as well as my family for their never ending support.”

Though Woodard is humbled by this accomplishment, many agree he is worthy of the title: 2009 Judge Advocate Association’s Outstanding Career Armed Services Attorney Award winner.

“Woodard has guaranteed the success, reputation, and credibility of our profession and this military unit through his notable professional accomplishments, unyielding service to the community, and his impeccable leadership,” Henry stated. “This officer is a true master of his trade and is without equal among his peers.”

For more information on the ongoing mission in Iraq’s Al Anbar province, visit www.iimefpublic.usmc.mil/iimeffwd

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