News: SD National Guard commissions first female judge advocate
Story by 2nd Lt. Chad Carlson
RAPID CITY, S.D. - Karla Marie MacArthur, of Rapid City, swore in as an attorney and then as an officer in the South Dakota Army National Guard, Sept. 21, at the Pennington County Courthouse in Rapid City.
MacArthur, who has served in the South Dakota Army National Guard since 2006, most recently as a human resource specialist, will now serve as a judge advocate.
Judge advocates investigate, prosecute and defend those charged with crimes in the military, provide legal advice for soldiers and work with international contracts.
“This is a very good day for the South Dakota National Guard and for Lt. MacArthur in particular,” said Maj. Gen. Tim Reisch, South Dakota National Guard adjutant general.
Reisch told the crowd of family, friends and supporters that newly commissioned 1st Lt. MacArthur was not only the newest member of the Judge Advocate General Corp, but the first female appointed in the South Dakota National Guard’s 150-year history.
“When I was first accepted into law school it was mentioned that I might be the first female judge advocate but I was three years away and didn’t think much about it,” MacArthur said. “But I think more importantly, we are all Soldiers at the end of the day and we all have the same job to do. I like to think about it as another Soldier added to a great organization.”
“First Lt. MacArthur proved herself as a great Soldier and noncommissioned officer,” said Col. Robert Pasqualucci, SDNG staff judge advocate. “I have no doubt she will prove to be a great officer and judge advocate.”
MacArthur graduated from the University of South Dakota in 2007 with Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice and a minor in Sociology. She worked for the Department of Social Services until being accepted into law school at the University of South Dakota where in May of 2012 graduated with honors with a Juris Doctor degree.
“I’m honored to be an attorney in the state of South Dakota and I’m honored to be a judge advocate for a wonderful organization like the South Dakota National Guard,” said MacArthur. “Before I ever enlisted, they asked ‘What do you want to do and how can we help?’ I told them I wanted to be attorney, I wanted to be a judge advocate and I wanted to serve, like many in my family have done in the past. They said if I did the time and the work that they would get me here - and they did. I’m truly thankful for everyone who has helped along the way.”