A Boyd County High School graduate who attended Ashland Community College and Morehead State University before enlisting in the U.S. Army has been inducted into the Military Police Corps Hall of Fame. But typical of a solider who says he took the “selfless service” approach to his military career, 62-year-old Philip Tackett says his honor is a reflection of those who worked with him rather than anything he did himself.
“I just like to do the job and know I do it well,” said Tackett, a 1968 BCHS grad whose parents, Earl and Mary Lee Tackett, and sister, Pamela McDowell, still live in this community. His wife of 33 years and the love of his life, the former Paula Dixon of Ashland, was also very instrumental in Tackett’s life, being there to raise two daughters, Stephanie Wright and Elizabeth Bellerby, while he was often away. He is quick to say that he couldn’t have done it without her. They also have four grandchildren — Courtney, Caden, Camilee and Haylie.
While Tackett remains modest about his achievements as a military police officer, a statement released on behalf of the commandant of the U.S. Army Military Police School and the chief of the Military Police Corps Regiment had nothing but praise for Tackett. It said: “Chief Warrant Officer Five (R) Philip Tackett served 33 years as a CID agent and became the first ever CID regimental warrant officer. Tackett’s dedication to our regiment and his constant desire to take care of soldiers were evident in his role in the expansion of the professionalism and technical expertise of warrant officers not just within the regiment, but throughout the Warrant Officer Corps.”
The Vietnam War was still raging when Tackett volunteered for the draft in 1972 out of a strong sense of patriotism. “I volunteered for two years and look what happened,” he said with a chuckle, explaining he now describes himself as a retired criminal investigator.
The fact that he served 33 years, or well past the retirement age for military service, show both how much he enjoyed his work and how highly the Army thought of him.
While he did not enjoy the times spent away from his family, he did find great satisfaction in not only bringing bad guys to justice but also in proving the innocence of others. That’s the right attitude. While some police officers and prosecutors seem to judge their success on how many people they have helped put behind bars, the job of those in law enforcement is to see that justice prevails. That sometimes entails deciding that some did not do anything wrong and releasing them as well as apprehending criminals. By his comments Tackett seems to recognize that his main job was always to see that justice prevailed.
Along with other accolades, Tackett was cited for efforts to ensure personnel management policies, procedures and leader development, as well as playing a critical role in the upgrade and redesign of the Army Warrant Officer education system.
Tackett, who now lives in Missouri, has not forgotten his hometown. He recently attended the 45-year class reunion of the BCHS class of 1968 and visits this area a couple of times a year to see family and old friends.
While retired from active duty, Tackett is a professional forums facilitator for the Army, working online with military police, engineers and others. In other words, his skills and experience are still in demand.
Tackett will be officially inducted into hall during a photo-hanging ceremony on Sept. 26.
“This is very humbling to me — totally unexpected and out of left field,” he said.
Perhaps, but those who worked along side him say it is well deserved. We congratulate him.
While a visit to the Military Police Corp Hall of Fame is probably not on the vacation agenda of many area residents, just knowing that one of our own is enshrined there is a source of community pride.