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John Tuthill of St. Petersburg was honored at a military retirement ceremony July 13 in Jacksonville following 33 years of service to the U.S. Navy, Judge Advocate General's Corps.

Tuthill received a bachelor's degree in political science in 1969 and a law degree in 1972 from Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio. He served as an attorney with the U.S. Navy for six years, working as a defense counsel and prosecutor and heading a legal command in Key West. He qualified in 1974 as a military judge and presided at court martial cases on special assignment, primarily aboard aircraft carriers.

He also served as an instructor at the Naval Justice School, the Navy's law school, in Newport, R.I. He left active duty in 1978 and became a prosecutor with the state attorney's office in the Sixth Judicial Circuit of Florida for Pinellas and Pasco counties. He was a felony division director before becoming a private practice attorney in 1985.

Tuthill's awards include a meritorious service medal, a Navy commendation medal, a Navy achievement medal, a national defense service medal with bronze star, a Naval Reserve medal with 30-year gold device, a military outstanding volunteer service medal and an expert pistol marksman medal. He also received a Hugh Howell Award, the highest award presented by the Navy Judge Advocate General's office for military legal professionalism.

Cadet Robert Decker Jr., son of Carol and Bob Decker of North Redington Beach, graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he concentrated his studies in international relations.

He was nominated to Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Society and received a Col. George K. Osborne III memorial award for excellence in political and cultural anthropology. He was a member of the swim and water polo teams and was named to the All-Academic Team by the Collegiate Water Polo Association.

Decker served as company commander and battalion sergeant major. He graduated from Special Forces Underwater Operations School in Key West and Air Assault School at West Point.

He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army and is attending Airborne School at Fort Benning, Ga. Following infantry officer basic school and Ranger school, he will be stationed at Fort Lewis, Wash.

Air Force Capt. Christopher S. Putman, son of Maryanne Stein of Largo and John Putman of Asheville, N.C., graduated from U.S. Air Force Weapons School, Nellis Air Force Base, Las Vegas. A 1988 graduate of Seminole High, Putman earned a degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Florida and a master's degree in aeronautical science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach.

He lives with his wife, Mary Anne Stuckey, and their two children in Columbia, S.C.

Navy Hospitalman Recruit Patrick I. McDougal, son of Cynthia A. and Rick G. McDougal of St. Petersburg, graduated from Basic Hospital Corps School at Naval Hospital Corps School, Great Lakes, Ill. A 2001 graduate of St. Petersburg High School, McDougal joined the Navy in October 2001.

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