Circuit Court Judge James Lockemy Called to Active Duty
Circuit Court Judge James Lockemy has been called to active duty to serve as the Command Judge Advocate and lead the JAG office of the 28th Infantry Division contingent that has been ordered to go to war-ravaged Kosovo in the Balkans as part of the NATO and UN peace keeping mission.
The group that has been formed is officially called the Multi-National Brigade (East) which will be stationed in Kosovo. The group will have forces from Greece and Poland as well as US military units. Kosovo is officially designated as a combat duty station by the Pentagon. The Force is made up mainly of Pennsylvania National Guard, but also has large assets from other states including Missouri, Kansas and South Carolina.
Judge Lockemy holds the rank of Colonel in the South Carolina Army National Guard and will hold the same rank as a member of the Active United States Army beginning April 21, 2003. Judge Lockemy's mission is an important one. He says the mission is "to help people live in peace and to stop those who wish to wrongfully threaten and hurt others. This is the mission our country has undertaken on many occasions and continues to do so today".
It is believed the last time a Circuit Judge of South Carolina was activated from the Reserve Forces by the Army was when, at that time, Judge Strom Thurmond was called to duty for WWII. Judge Lockemy served as Thurmond's legislative assistant in Washington about 20 years ago. One other member of the South Carolina Judiciary has, in recent memory, been called to active duty. In the early 1990's, Family Court Judge Larry Patterson was called to duty during Desert Storm. Judge Patterson was subsequently elected as a circuit court judge.
Judge Lockemy is a long-time coach of a Dixie Youth baseball team, the Rangers. For the first time in 23 years, someone else will serve the team as coach. Coach Lockemy says his team has won championships some years, but always has fun. Each year at the end of the season, the team takes a trip. Last year they visited Philadelphia.
Judge Lockemy hopes to return around the end of the year and continue his judicial duties. The South Carolina Judicial Department wishes him a successful mission and a safe return.