Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs (ADVA) Commissioner Clyde Marsh announced his retirement during the recent State Board of Veterans Affairs meeting.
Commissioner Marsh served over 30 years in the United States Navy prior to retiring as a Rear Admiral in 2004. During his three decades of Navy active duty service, he served in multiple key staff assignments and in leadership positions at sea. He led Task Force 51 during the Iraq War where he commanded 31 US and Coalition ships and 44,000 personnel.
Upon his naval retirement, Commissioner Marsh assumed duties as State Commissioner and Director of ADVA and has served for more than 13 years. He has worked tirelessly for the 369,000+ veterans residing in Alabama, their dependents and survivors in all matters pertaining to veterans benefits. This responsibility falls into two basic tasks: informing veterans and their families about veterans benefits; and directly assisting and advising veterans and their families in securing the benefits to which they are entitled.
“After 13 years of state service, it is time to move on and let the next generation step forward!” he said. “It was a bittersweet decision to leave a well-oiled machine with great personnel doing their jobs exceptionally well, but that is actually the best time to depart. We have outstanding people throughout ADVA that will continue to do great things and others that are ready to step up and assume additional roles.”
As commissioner, he directed the agency’s operations and managed 112 state employees in 67 counties as well as over 900 contract health service providers. Under Commissioner Marsh’s leadership, the ADVA experienced a period of unprecedented progress, including implementation of a statewide veteran claims management system, reorganized the agency’s management structure from six to three districts covering north, central and south Alabama, development of a state veterans court program consisting of 14 Veterans Treatment Courts, construction of a 21st century state veterans home, and construction of the first state-operated veterans cemetery. He was co-chair of Alabama Veterans Executive Network (AlaVetNet) and co-chair of MyVa Operation Entrust Board.
He served on the secretary of Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee for Rural Health from 2012 to 2014 and is currently serving as chair of the VA Secretary’s VA Advisory Committee for Geriatrics and Gerontology. He is also a member of the Advisory Committee of the American Academy of Nursing and is a past president of the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs.
“I have enjoyed working for the State of Alabama and taking care of Alabama veterans,” Commissioner Marsh said. “I will take a brief vacation and then go back to work with the US Department of Veterans Affairs where I can continue my passion of service and caring for our nation’s veterans.”

Beginning November 1 Michael Northcutt, assistant commissioner, will serve as acting commissioner until another state service commissioner is selected.