As Lt. Col. Andrew Atkins ’96 gets ready for his new position in the Office of Legal Counsel for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the alum returned to the Hilltop to speak with students about his time at St. George's and how it prepared him for a career in the military.
"The character experiences you get here ... it was really important," Atkins told a gathering of students and faculty in the Nathaniel P. Hill Library after speaking with students in the Rogers Scholars Program.
Atkins began serving in the U.S. Army as a Second Lieutenant in the Armor Branch after graduating from West Point in May 2000. He said he was primed to handle the daily studies and discipline of West Point because of the routines he established at SG -- challenging classes and required athletics and afternoon activities.
"I think we [prep school students] were really well situated coming in there," said Atkins.
He's served in a wide range of organizations for more than 18 years, from commanding a 16-person tank platoon at the National Training Center to serving as the Chief of Administrative and Contract Law to the Commander, U.S. Forces Korea. His service includes tours in four countries and six states, including deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Working in the Pentagon as deputy legal counsel for the U.S. Army Military District of Washington and Joint Forces Headquarters National Capital Region, Atkins has supported the Army and the Department of Defense with disaster preparedness, ceremonial affairs, executive travel, and other services across the Washington, D.C., region.
As Deputy Staff Judge Advocate of the command, he managed a 34-person legal office, advising senior US military commanders and officials, and coordinating legal advice and services with Department of the Army agencies in the region and beyond.