Missouri Guard State Judge Advocate retires after 31 years

By Missouri National Guard Public Affairs

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri National Guard’s State Judge Advocate retired this month after serving more than 31 years in uniform.

Col. David Lowe

Col. David Lowe, the Missouri National Guard’s state judge advocate general, speaks during his retirement ceremony, Dec. 20, 2017. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Pfc. Christopher Saunders)

Col. David Lowe was joined by family and friends during a retirement ceremony at the Missouri National Guard headquarters in Jefferson City.

“What we do is not easy,” Lowe told his fellow judge advocates general at the ceremony. “If you do your job right as a JAG, you make accomplishing the mission a lot easier. JAGs have a difficult role, but when they do it right, our organization is a lot better.”

During the ceremony, Maj. Gen. Steve Danner, the Adjutant General, presented Lowe with the Legion of Merit for his service.

Lowe began his career by serving as a legal assistant officer, prosecuting attorney and environmental law specialist at Fort Knox, Kentucky, where he litigated approximately 45 courts martial. In 1994, he was assigned to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, where he served as a trial defense attorney where he represented Soldiers at more than 40 courts-martial. After leaving active duty in June 1997, Lowe transferred to the Missouri National Guard and opened a private law practice in Waynesville where he handles a wide variety of civil and criminal cases. He has also been the Municipal Court Judge in Waynesville since 2010.

In 2007, Lowe deployed as the Command Judge Advocate of the Guard’s 35th Engineer Brigade to Baghdad, Iraq, during the surge. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, and was appointed State Judge Advocate in August 2009.

During his remarks, Lowe offered words of advice for his fellow leaders. He told them to be decisive, work hard, build trusting relationships, be courageous and considerate, focus on teamwork, be accountable and always serve a higher purpose, which Lowe stated, “Will help people persevere through the various challenges they will face in life.”

“And never be afraid to get your hands dirty,” Lowe said. “Don’t ever ask anyone to do something you are not willing to do yourself.” Lowe went on to say that his military service has taught him a lot about life and that, “Trust is the key ingredient to effective relationships and mission accomplishment.”

Lowe said in addition to his law practice and serving as a Municipal Court Judge, he will remain active in his local community through voluntary service which is his passion. Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley recently appointed Lowe to his newly-formed Military Legal Assistance Team and introduced Lowe at a press conference announcing this new program. Lowe’s remarks at the press conference addressed the need for this new initiative by saying, “At a time where we face unprecedented threats to our national security, we must find ways to help veterans in need who have done so much in service to our country.”

In addition to the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star, Lowe’s military awards include the Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

Lowe is married to Victoria LeeAnn Lowe, and has four children, Grace, Sara, Lauren and Jon, who is currently studying at West Point.