Robert Stennett Amery
Robert Stennett Amery
  • June 15, 1922 - December 29, 2017
  • Springfield, Virginia

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Robert (Bob) S. Amery
June 15, 1922 - December 29, 2017

He was a highly-respected Administrative Law Judge with the U.S. Dept. of Labor, a proud USAF Colonel and Gunny Sergeant in the USMC. He was also a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather. He was predeceased by his beloved wife, Elizabeth S. Amery, who passed away on August 27, 2016. He leaves behind his sons, James (wife Mardie) and William (spouse Michael), and a grandson, Robert.

He enlisted in the Marines when he was 18 years old, and subsequently saw some of the worst fighting of WWII on Guadalcanal and Peleliu. He was awarded the Purple Heart for the injuries sustained in the latter battle.

Post-war, he married his sweetheart, Elizabeth (Betty) S. Brown, on December 23, 1945. He then went to college on the GI Bill, ultimately earning both a BS in business and a JD in law at Boston University, graduating in the top third of his class.

He wanted to utilize his law degree, and found the USAF to be interested in him and his newly-acquired degree, so he sealed the deal by taking and passing the Massachusetts Bar Exam (July 1950.) He was sworn in as an attorney in November of that year, and applied to and was accepted as a member of the USAF JAG corps in May 1951.

In July 1951 he was called to active duty at Presque Isle AFB, in Maine. He acted both as defense and prosecuting counsel, as needed, and gave legal advice to USAF personnel on innumerable legal matters, as well as personal matters. From there he and Betty were sent to the Air Base in Keflavik, Iceland. (And they thought Maine had some chilly weather!! Ha!!)

He was then sent to Texas, then Okinawa, and then to Palm Beach, Florida, where he and Betty adopted their elder son, James (Jim.) After two years in Florida, they were transferred to England, where he continued his lawyerly responsibilities, including advising the Base Commander regarding disciplinary issues, and acting as military judge on USAF court martial cases at various bases. While in England they adopted their younger son, William (Bill.)

They moved to Springfield, VA in 1964, where he continued his JAG career, as an Appellate Defense Counsel, working on a lot of court martial cases. Some of his decisions were precedent-setting, and many are in the Court Martial Reports (CMR) in law libraries at military bases around the world.

They were sent to Taiwan in 1968, and he performed the usual duties of a JAG, as well as wearing a number of other hats while there. He drafted various agreements between the U.S. and the Republic of China (Taiwan), such as aircraft control status, warning sites on Taiwan, etc.

He retired from the military with 29 total years of military service, and was entitled to wear the Legion of Merit, the Purple Heart, the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf clusters, the American Defense Medal with Bronze Star, the South Pacific Theater Medal with Silver Star, the American Theater Medal, the WWII Victory Medal, and various other medals and ribbons including the Navy Presidential Unit Citation with two Bronze Stars.

Although he was proud of his service to his country, as was (and is) his family, he was never one to announce his accomplishments to anyone. If anything, he was very humble about his numerous medals and awards, only mentioning them if someone asked him directly. He was very grateful to, and credited, his Uncle Sam for funding his higher education, and he was always supportive about anyone furthering their education, no matter their field of interest.

He ended his government career with the U.S. Dept. of Labor, as an Administrative Law Judge, retiring in 1996. Upon retiring, he and Betty travelled extensively, all over the world. For many years, even before he retired, he treated his entire family to an annual tropical vacation every winter, something he really enjoyed doing. His family cherished these vacations, both to escape the cold weather, and for the great bonding experience they could enjoy without having to worry about work interferences.

His generosity to his family will be remembered always, as will his gentlemanly ways. He was an interesting and amazing man, who rarely, if ever, tooted his own horn. But, sometimes a horn should be tooted, especially for a genuine American hero. Robert S. Amery was that, in every sense of the word.