At a private ceremony on Oak Island, Iredell native Alex Mendaloff III was recently recognized by the U.S. Department of the Army and awarded the Legion of Merit, the North Carolina Distinguished Service Medal and The Old North State Award. Mendaloff is a local lawyer, former judge, and retired Army lieutenant colonel.
The Legion of Merit ranks just below the Silver Star and ahead of the Distinguished Flying Cross in the Federal Military Decoration lineage. It is one of two military awards issued as neck wear. The medal is awarded to a soldier serving in the U.S. Armed Forces who demonstrates extraordinarily meritorious conduct while discharging their duty with outstanding services and achievements. The acts justifying the award must have been committed in an obviously outstanding manner to have been recognized by significant persons.
From 1972 to 2013, Mendaloff served more than 31 of those years on active duty, U.S. Army Reserve, and the N.C. Army National Guard. A combat veteran, he received the Bronze Star Medal and Combat Action Badge in 2005 for his actions during the Iraq War.
The North Carolina Distinguished Service Medal is the state’s top military award. It is issued by the governor to a soldier of the U.S. Armed Forces of the United States who was discharged under honorable conditions and distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service to the N.C. National Guard.
Mendaloff entered the N.C. National Guard in 1988 as a corporal and served more than 25 years. During the first 12 years, he was an enlisted soldier, non-commissioned officer and warrant officer. In 2000, he took a direct commission as a first lieutenant in the Judge Advocate General Corps. While a JAG he served as trial counsel (military prosecutor), Brigade Deputy Command Judge Advocate,…