Of 364 eligible attorneys in the U.S. Army Materiel Command’s footprint, seven were nominated to vie for AMC’s highest award for lawyers.Andy Hughes received the top honor and was named this year’s Joyce I. Allen Attorney of the Year. He has been a part of U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command since January 2008.The award is given annually to a civilian or military attorney or patent advisor for outstanding accomplishments in the services of the legal profession and the community. The intent is that the award will be an incentive for those eligible to strive for excellence on a daily basis.“Essentially, this is the top honor one can receive as an AMC attorney and recognizes an exemplary body of work,” said Katherine W. MacKenzie, Acquisition Law and Operations Division chief, AMC Legal Center - Redstone Arsenal. “Andy has had an interesting career as an Army attorney, first as a [Judge Advocate General] officer and, now, as a civilian. We are very fortunate to have him in our office, leading and mentoring attorneys in support of the AMCOM mission.”Though he knew he had been nominated in previous years, Hughes said he was shocked to learn he was nominated this year and actually received this high honor. “Being familiar with the reputations of some of the prior recipients, I am extremely humbled that my name will now join theirs on the permanent plaque for this award.”In a true sign of the times, Hughes said technical issues resulted in him tuning in to the AMC Legal town hall via audio link only. His immediate reaction? “Absolute disbelief.”“As my immediate supervisor later remarked, it was one of the few occasions that she recalled that I was totally speechless,” Hughes recalled.In the nomination, Hughes is touted as one who regularly serves as the acting ALOD chief, provides valuable mentorship and guidance to attorneys throughout the division and whose knowledge of the law and willingness to help work through the most complex problems are unmatched.“I have been trying to practice or teach law for almost 40 years now and, in my practice, I have always tried to provide legal support that is both accurate and timely,” Hughes said. “I have tried to provide support when possible – whether that is to other attorneys or to specific customers in support of the ultimate client, which is the Army.”“This is a magnificent achievement, and a well-deserved recognition of Andy's sustained excellence in support of the AMCOM and AMC legal mission for over 12 years,” said Nathaniel Causey, chief counsel for AMC Legal Center - Redstone Arsenal.Causey, who also serves as AMCOM chief counsel, said the competition for this award is fierce. “Andy's legal skills in contract and fiscal law are among the very best in the Army, and his dedication to the mission is second to none. Many AMCOM employees have benefitted over the years from Andy's superb teaching, wise counsel, mentorship and friendship. Andy is a true servant-leader who always puts other people ahead of himself.”Throughout his tenure, Hughes has provided support to the AMCOM leadership, staff and directorates; the Army Contracting Command – Redstone Arsenal; Redstone garrison command; U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center; Program Executive Office Missiles and Space; and Program Executive Office Aviation.“He is a role model for all of us,” Causey said. “I can think of no one more deserving of this award than Andy Hughes.”The Joyce I. Allen Attorney of the Year Award is named after an attorney in the then-U.S. Army Aviation Systems Command legal office in St. Louis. Allen had a long and distinguished career of contributions to her clients and the AMC legal community.The recipient of the award epitomizes the attributes in the Command Legal Program’s philosophy of comprehensive legal support: active involvement, constructive legal advice, significant contributions to important Army programs and strong emphasis on preventive law.By all accounts, Hughes fits the bill.