In January 2000, Isaac McBeth enlisted as a military intelligence analyst in the United States Army. Only 17 years old and anxious to “make it on his own steam,” he perceived the military as his opportunity to build a strong resume and finance his college education. However, McBeth soon realized that the attacks of September 11, 2001, would impact him in a way that he never imagined. Although he originally envisioned his military service to be four years of peaceful stateside operations, September 11 placed him on the road to war.

In March 2003, McBeth crossed over the Kuwait border and into Iraq as part of the lead unit in the U.S. invasion. He encountered the first lines of the Hussein Regime military defenses in An Najaf, Karbala, and Baghdad. His unit was the first American unit to enter and establish military presence in the city of Baghdad. After stabilizing the insurgency in Baghdad, McBeth’s unit was assigned the challenging task of suppressing the insurgency in Fallujah. 

After four years of active duty service, McBeth decided to use his military education benefits to pursue his undergraduate education at Trinity International University. However, he had fallen in love with military service and opted to continue his military career as an Army Reservist. During his freshman and sophomore year, McBeth played college football, interned with Congressman Paul Ryan, and took various classes in search of a career path. His search ended when he took two pre-law courses and discovered a passion for the law.

At the end of his sophomore year, McBeth became troubled at the rising levels of U.S. casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan. He felt he could not continue to stand on the sidelines and volunteered to return to active duty. He received orders to report to Fort Jackson as a Drill Sergeant. In that position, he trained more than 3000 military service members in critical combat skills and survival techniques, prior to their deployment in hostile combat zones around the world.

Although his work as a Drill Sergeant consumed most of his time, McBeth did not want to delay his legal education. He continued to attend college full-time through night classes and distance learning and, without breaking stride, received his bachelor’s degree in legal studies from American Military University in 2008. He also applied to law school and in the spring of 2008, McBeth received an offer to join the University of Richmond School of Law as a John Marshall Scholar. He accepted without hesitation.

Today, McBeth is one of the most engaged students at the law school. He is a member of the law school's Trial Advocacy Board, the McNeill Law Society, the Honor Council, and serves as an Articles and Comments Editor for the Richmond Law Review. McBeth also volunteers at the Commonwealth Attorney's Office for the City of Richmond and at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Somehow McBeth has found time in his busy schedule to pursue another dream. He will soon make his debut as a professional author with the release of a fantasy novel with Tate Publishing later this year.