Boyd County native Philip Tackett says his induction to the Military Police Corps Hall of Fame is a reflection of those he worked alongside of, rather than anything he did himself.
“I try to use the ‘selfless service’ approach,” Tackett said. “I just like to do the job and know I do it well.”
Tackett, 62, grew up in the Naples community of Boyd County and attended school at Summit Elementary before graduating from Boyd County High School in 1968. He played for the Cardinals in local Little League, a team coached by his father, and attended classes at Ashland Community College and Morehead State before enlisting in the Army.
“I volunteered for the draft,” he said, noting he had a strong sense of patriotism in 1972 and had a cousin and neighbor who had been drafted.
“I volunteered for two years and look what happened,” he said with a chuckle, explaining he now describes himself as a retired criminal investigator.
According to 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, “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.”
Tackett was further 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 said his military career was rewarding, with low points including time away from family balanced by the highlights of bringing justice to bad guys as well as proving the innocence of others.
“Bringing the right person to justice and exonerating the innocent ... We get just as much pride from proving someone is innocent,” he said.
Tackett said he recently revisited the Ashland area for his 45th high school reunion, and still has family in the area, including his parents, Earl and Mary Lee Tackett, and a sister, Pamela McDowell. He tries to get back to the area “a couple of times a year,” he said, and is living in Waynesville, Mo., where he is a professional forums facilitator for the Army, working online with military police, engineers and others.
“It is almost like a Facebook thing,” he said.
Tackett's wife of 33 years, Paula, was also instrumental in everything he did. Together they raised two daughters, Stephanie Wright and Elizabeth Bellerby, with Paula providing much of the nuturing while he was away on duty.
Tackett will be 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.
TIM PRESTON can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2651.