Retired Major General and Ward and Smith attorney Hugh Overholt was recently honored by Rep. Greg Murphy, M.D., with formal congressional recognition in appreciation of his lifelong service to Eastern North Carolina.
Photo from office of Rep. Greg Murphy
He was presented with a Congressional Extension of Remarks (EOR) and a speech, which has been formally entered into the official Congressional Record.
"We are extremely proud of Hugh and this tremendous honor," remarked Jamie Norment, Government Relations Practice Group Leader. "His contributions to our country and to Eastern North Carolina have been many, and we are privileged to have him as part of the Ward and Smith team."
Prior to joining the firm, Hugh served as The Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Army from 1985 to 1989. He also served as Assistant Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Army from 1981 to 1985.
The full text of Congressman Murphy's EOR and speech can be found below:
“Madam Speaker, I rise today to honor Major General Hugh Robert Overholt of the United States Army (Retired) for his lifelong service to our country’s military, Eastern North Carolina, and our great nation. Born in the town of Beebe, Arkansas in 1933, General Overholt attended the University of Arkansas where he earned both a bachelor’s degree and a law degree. While attending law school, he served as the Comments Editor for the University of Arkansas Law Review.
Following his graduation in 1957, General Overholt entered the Army’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps and was commissioned as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. After his graduation from the Army’s Judge Advocate General’s school, General Overholt would go on to serve in various leadership roles within the United States Army including Assistant Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Army from 1981-1985 and Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Army from 1985-1989. General Overholt served a remarkable ten years as a General Officer, which included eight as a Major General. General Overholt used these years to increase the professionalism and the role of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps through critical changes and reforms.
One of the finest accomplishments in General Overholt’s career was the establishment of the Masters in Military Law (LL.M.) program at the Army’s Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School located at the University of Virginia. General Overholt also greatly expanded the schools’ facilities, automatized the delivery of Army legal services, and published a revolutionary code of professional responsibility for members of the Army’s Judge Advocate Corps. General Overholt’s changes modernized the Army’s legal services and exemplified his ability as an outstanding leader.
General Overholt has received numerous awards in recognition of his life of service. These include the Distinguished Service Medal (Oak Leaf Cluster), Legion of Merit, the Department of Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (Oak Leaf Cluster), and the Army Commendation Medal (Two Oak Leaf Clusters). Along with attending the Army’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps Basic and Advanced Courses, General Overholt also attended Airborne School, Command and General Staff College and the National Defense University.
General Overholt has served on the North Carolina Board of Transportation (BOT) since 2009 and was instrumental in creating a new 2020 Department of Transportation (DOT) law that gave the BOT more oversight authority. This new legislation also shifted designation of board members from the Governor to the General Assembly. For the first time under this new authority, Speaker of the North Carolina House Tim Moore used one of the General Assembly's three appointments for General Overholt who was first placed on the BOT by Governor Beverly Perdue and was reappointed by Governors Patrick McCrory and Roy Cooper. General Overholt is the only BOT member who has been appointed by both Republican and Democratic Governors, plus a Republican Speaker of the House.
General Overholt in action means seeing good government work. Between 2009 and 2020, General Overholt was instrumental in delivering over $800 million in new road projects to Carteret, Craven, Jones, Lenoir, and Pitt Counties. Of particular importance has been his support for military related transportation projects. One of the most vital military projects is the new Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point Slocum overpass ramp. General Overholt secured over $30 million in special funding for the project as part of the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s (NCDOT) efforts to support the military and reduce traffic accidents and congestions in Havelock. He also advocated for the Highway 17 Bypass through Jones County that finally connected Camp Lejeune and MCAS Cherry Point with a four-lane highway. This was decades in the making and without General Overholt’s leadership, it would not have become a reality.
Two other major projects General Overholt helped shepherd through to construction are the Havelock Highway 70 Bypass and the James City-New Bern Highway 70 reconstruction. Today, his focus as an at-large BOT member continues to support Craven and Carteret Counties, the State Ports, aviation, rail, and the Global TransPark as well as overall transportation-related economic development.
Prior to his appointment to the BOT, General Overholt was a Governor's appointee to the North Carolina Military Affairs Advisory Commission. He also helped lead the State's 2004 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) response team where he focused on advocating for MCAS Cherry Point. General Overholt was again successful in preventing the closure of this vital base.
General Overholt also serves as Chairman of the North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District Service Academy Nomination Board, where he assists in nominating high school students to attend our esteemed service academies. He continues to be a servant to the people and the impact he has made on the citizens of this great nation is truly remarkable. General Overholt and his wife, Ann, have two children, Scott and Sharon, two grandchildren, Grayson Overholt and Ashton Overholt Baker, and two great-grandchildren, Sebastian and Sawyer Baker.
Madam Speaker, please join me in honoring the service of this great patriot and all he has done and continues to do for our great state and nation.”