Photo of Troy H. Middleton

Troy H. Middleton

Lieutenant General Troy Houston Middleton (October 12, 1889-October 9, 1976) was a distinguished soldier-educator who served as a corps commander in Europe during World War II and, later, as President of Louisiana State University (LSU).

Commissioned in the United States Army in 1912, Middleton rose to the rank of Colonel by 1918, the youngest officer of that rank in the American Expeditionary Forces. During World War I, Middleton commanded in combat and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for actions in the Meuse-Argonne offensive.

Middleton then served at the United States Army Infantry School, Fort Benning; the Command and General Staff School, Fort Leavenworth; the Army War College, Washington, D.C.; and finally LSU. After serving as Commandant of Cadets at LSU, he retired from the Army in 1937 to accept an offer as Dean of Administration and later acting Vice President of that institution.

Recalled to service in early 1942, Middleton commanded the 45th Infantry Division during the Sicily, and Salerno battles, and then in December 1943 moved up to command the U.S. VIII Corps. Middleton's brilliant leadership in Operation Cobra and in the Battle of the Bulge led to his widespread recognition as a Corps Commander of extraordinary abilities.

Retiring from the Army again, Middleton returned to Baton Rouge and, in 1950, was appointed to President of LSU. Middleton continued to serve the Army in numerous consultative capacities. He resided in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, until his death in 1976. His remains were interred in Baton Rouge National Cemetery. The Air Force/Army ROTC building at Mississippi State University, Middleton's alma mater, is named for him as is the LSU library.

Photo of Gillespie V. "Sonny" Montgomery

Gillespie V. "Sonny" Montgomery

Gillespie V. "Sonny" Montgomery (August 5, 1920 - May 12, 2006) was an American politician from Mississippi who served in the U.S. House of Representatives 1967-1997. Montgomery, who was considered a pro-defense and pro-Veterans Democrat, resided in Meridian, the seat of Lauderdale County, in eastern Mississippi.

Born in Laurel, Mississippi, he attended Mississippi State University in Starkville and was a member of Beta Tau chapter of Kappa Alpha Order. He served in the U.S. Army as a Second Lieutenant during World War II and also in the Korean Conflict. He retired from the Mississippi National Guard as a Major General in 1980. He was the author of the G.I. Bill of Rights that gives Veterans money to pay for college and was a lead sponsor in establishing the Veterans Affairs cabinet level position.

On September 13, 1988, Sonny Montgomery became the first Congressman to lead the U.S. House in citing the Pledge of Allegiance as a permanent part of its daily and morning business operations [1]. The day prior to his death, Congressman Gene Taylor introduced an amendment to House Defense Appropriations Bill to rename the bill the Sonny Montgomery National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007. Following his death, President Bush ordered U.S. flags to be flown at half staff [2]. In addition, the U.S. House of Representatives canceled non-suspension votes on the day of his funeral.

Photo of PRESIDING JUSTICE William L. Waller, JR.

PRESIDING JUSTICE William L. Waller, JR.

Presiding Justice William L. Waller, Jr., a native and current resident of Jackson, is a graduate of Murrah High School and Mississippi State University and received his law degree from the University of Mississippi in 1977. He practiced law with the firm of Waller and Waller in Jackson for over 20 years and served as a Municipal Judge for the City of Jackson. Justice Waller was elected to the Mississippi Supreme Court in November 1996, and reelected in November 2004. Justice Waller assumed the position of Presiding Justice in January 2004.

Justice Waller has sought to bring reforms in the administration of justice. He supported adoption by the Supreme Court of mediation rules for civil litigation and served as Chairman of the Mississippi Public Defender Task Force from 2000 - 2005. Justice Waller was principal architect of what became legislation which created the Office of Capital Post Conviction Counsel, the Office of Indigent Appeals and the Comprehensive Electronic Court Systems Fund. Justice Waller serves as Chairman of the Rules Committee. Justice Waller was the recipient of the Judicial Innovation Award for 2003-2004 by the Hinds County Bar Association and the Jackson Young Lawyers Association. He received the Chief Justice Award in 2005 for his work as chairman of a special study committee to develop a statewide e-filing and docket management system.

Presently assigned to the Retired Reserve, Justice Waller served over 29 years in the Mississippi Army National Guard, attaining the rank of Brigadier General while serving as Commander of the 66th Troop Command, Jackson, Mississippi. Justice Waller and his wife, Charlotte, have three children and are members of First Baptist Church Jackson where he has recently served as Chairman of the Deacons.

Photo of Dwight Dyess

Dwight Dyess

Mr. Dwight Dyess is President of BancorpSouth in West Point, Mississippi. Prior to moving to West Point, he was Executive Vice President for External Affairs for BancorpSouth. Additionally, Mr. Dyess was President of the Pine Belt Division, where he had responsibility for BancorpSouth's banks in Forrest, Jasper, Jones, Lamar and Wayne Counties. BancorpSouth founded in 1896, is the second oldest and the largest financial institution in Mississippi. Mr. Dyess received his commission in 1972 as a Second Lieutenant from Mississippi State University Army ROTC "Bulldog Battalion", into the United States Army Reserve, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and later earned a Master of Science degree in Economics from Mississippi State University. He is a graduate of The School of Banking of the South at Louisiana State University and completed the American Bankers Association National commercial Lending school at the University of Oklahoma.

In West Point, Mr. Dyess is a Board Member and Treasurer of the West Point/Clay County Community Growth Alliance. Also, he is a member of the Rotary Club of West Point.

A past Chairman of the Hattiesburg based Area Development Partnership; Mr. Dyess was Vice Chairman of the Forrest County Industrial Park commission, and Chairman of the Hattiesburg Tourism Commission. He is past President of the Hattiesburg Downtown Association, and the United Way of Southeast Mississippi. He was a member of the Hattiesburg Rotary club and the Southeast Mississippi Salvation Army Board. He has served on the University of Southern Mississippi Foundation Board and the USM College of Business Administration Advisory Council. Dyess is also Past Director of the Mississippi Economic Council, the Mississippi Power Foundation, the Hattiesburg Area Education Foundation, the Pearl River College Workforce Advisory Council, and the Southeast Mississippi Certified Investment Corporation.

Mr. Dyess was the Sales and Marketing International of Hattiesburg 1997 Executive of the Year and received the Hub Award for his contributions to the community. He is a member of Marquis' Who's Who in the World 1998, Who's Who in the United States and Who's Who in Finance. Mr. Dyess retired as Colonel after twenty-nine years in the Mississippi National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve. He served as Intelligence Officer for the 155th Separate Armored Brigade during Desert Storm. Having served ten plus years in Special Forces, he is a master parachutist. Colonel Dyess commanded the 1st Battalion, 155th Infantry, the oldest military unit in Mississippi history. Colonel Dyess' decorations includes the Legion of Merit and the Meritorious Service Medal. He is a Distinguished Knight of the Order of Saint George as well as a Centurion of the Order of St. Maurice. Colonel Dyess continues to serve our country as the Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army for Mississippi. In his role as Civilian Aide, Mr. Dyess serves as an advisor to the Secretary of the Army, the Chief of Staff of the Army, and Senior Army commanders whose areas of responsibility involve the State of Mississippi. Civilian Aides are a key link for the military as they communicate Army messages and themes to communities within the State.

In turn, they provide information about these civilian communities to the Army. For protocol purposes, Civilian Aides are ranked just below 3-star general officers and are considered as the Secretary of the Army's personal representatives. Mr. Dyess is married to the former Kathy Lee of Yazoo City. Mrs. Dyess is a member of the Order of Saint Joan D'Arc. They have one son, Walker. The Dyess' are communicants of The Episcopal church of the Incarnation where he is a member of the Finance commission.

Photo of Dr. Roy Ruby

Dr. Roy Ruby

For nearly four decades, Roy H. Ruby was a staff member of the Division of Student Affairs at Mississippi State University, from which he received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science in 1961 and 1966, respectively.

In 1964, Ruby began work as program director for what now is the Dean W. Colvard Union. In 2002, he stepped down after 16 years as vice president for student affairs to conclude his MSU career as dean of the College of Education, for which he also had been serving for two years as interim dean. He retired from his alma mater in June 2004.

In his rise from the entry-level position to Student Affairs’ top leadership office, Ruby also was coordinator of student activities, assistant dean of men, acting dean of men, assistant dean of student development, associate dean of student development, assistant to the vice president for student affairs, and dean of student administrative services. Along the way, he departed the division for a time to direct MSU’s Jackson branch campus 1974-78. Ruby is a retired officer in the United States Army Reserves and a former president of the board of trustees of the Starkville Public Schools. He also has been recognized as 2002 alumnus of the year by MSU's Army ROTC program.

Photo of Gray W. Harrison, Jr.

Gray W. Harrison, Jr.

Major General (Ret.) Gray W. Harrison, Jr. is a native of Scobey, Mississippi. He entered Mississippi State College in the fall of 1943. As a freshman, he entered into the Mississippi State Army ROTC program. In 1944, General Gray W. Harrison, Jr. was drafted into the U.S. Army. He was trained at Camp Fannin, Texas as a rifleman. He was later trained as a wireman and an intermediate speed radio operator. He was an honor graduate of the Communication Officer- Chief course at Ft. Benning, Georgia. In the fall of 1946, General Harrison re-entered the advanced ROTC program where he commissioned into the Coast Artillery Corps in1948.

General Harrison’s first duty station was with the United States Army Reserve unit in Clarksdale, Mississippi. He then transferred to the Mississippi Army National Guard. As a Guardsman, he served in A Battery, 114th Field Artillery Battalion, 31st Infantry Division. When mobilized for the Korean War with this unit, he was a 1st Lieutenant and the Battery A Commander.

In 1951, Major General (Ret.) Harrison graduated Field Artillery Battery Grade Officer’s Course at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Not long after returning, he was assigned to Far East Command as an individual replacement at the 63rd Field Artillery Battalion, 34th Regimental Combat Team, 24th Infantry Division.

General Harrison was released from active duty in December of 1952 and susequently returned to the Mississippi Army National Guard. In the Guard, he served as Battalion S-3 and Battalion Commander of the 114 FA BN. He also served as 31st Division Artillery S-3, 631st Field Artillery Group Commander, Commander of the 31st Rear Area Operations Center, and Commander of the 31st Support Center.

In 1980, General Harrison was appointed Assistant Adjutant General of the Mississippi Army National Guard by Governor William Winter. He was also nominated by President Reagan and confirmed by the United States Senate as a Brigadier General. In 1983, Governor Winter appointed General Harrison as the Adjutant General and he was promoted to Major General. He retired from the National Guard in 1984 and from the Army of the United States in 1986.

Still working in public service, General Harrison was a Regional Director for the American Red Cross and served on the Red Cross National Board of Governors for six years. General Harrison Resides in the Jackson, Mississippi area.

Photo of CPT Robert H. Bennett

CPT Robert H. Bennett

KIA-RVN 1970
1995 MSU ROTC Alumnus of the Year
Commissioned 1968

Photo of Honorable Sam Scales

Honorable Sam Scales

Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army for Mississippi
1990 MSU ROTC Alumnus of the Year

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Photo of MG James W. Darden

MG James W. Darden

CG 81st RSC and 87th TRG DIV
1998 MSU Alumnus of the Year
Commissioned 1966

Photo of MG James W. Ball

MG James W. Ball

Director of Supply and Maintenance
Office of Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics (1990-93)
1994 MSU ROTC Alumnus of the Year
Class of 1959-60

Photo of MG Jerry M. Keeton

MG Jerry M. Keeton

Deputy Commanding General 2nd US Army 1990-93
1992 MSU ROTC Alumnus of the Year
Co-CPT of MSU Basketball Team 1958-59
Commissioned 1960

Hall of Fame

Photo of Colonel (R) Norman L. Williamson

Colonel (R) Norman L. Williamson

Colonel (R) Norman L. Williamson, a native of Forest, Mississippi, graduated as a Distinguished Military Graduate and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant (Military Intelligence) through the Army's Reserve Officer Training Corps program from Mississippi State University in June 1969. While at Mississippi State University, he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Statistics and Data Processing (Information Technology) and a Master of Education in Guidance and Counseling. Colonel (R) Williamson was a member of various campus organizations, including the Famous Maroon Band, Scabbard and Blade Honorary Military Society, Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities, Elder Statesmen, Student Association Treasurer, and Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity, for which he was a founding member.

Colonel (R) Williamson entered active service in November 1970. He earned a Master of Science in Systems Management (Industrial Engineering) in June 1978 from University of Southern California's Viterbi School of Engineering. His military education included Infantry Officer Basic Course, Ft. Benning, GA; Area Intelligence Officer Course, Ft. Holabird, MD; Military Intelligence Officer Advanced Course, Ft. Huachuca, AZ; Automatic Data Processing Course, Ft. Benjamin Harrison, IN; Command and General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth, KS; and the Army War College, Carlisle, PA.

His successive assignments included the Republic of Vietnam, where he served in Special Operations; United States Army Europe (USAEUR) with the 1st Squadron, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment; and as Chief of the Intelligence School, 7th Army Training Center. Other early major assignments were with the Defense Intelligence Agency, Washington, DC, and Ft. Lewis,WA, where he had consecutive assignments as Deputy G2 (Intelligence), 9th Infantry Division; and Company Commander and S3 (Operations Officer) in the 109th Military Intelligence Battalion. Following these assignments Colonel (R) Williamson served with the Headquarters of the US Army's Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations and Plans (DA ODCSOPS) and as an exchange officer to the US Air Force's Office of Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations (AF XO), Washington, DC. He returned to USAEUR as the Executive Officer (XO), 165th Military Intelligence Battalion and later served as the Operations Officer (S3), 205th Military Intelligence Brigade. Subsequently, he was assigned to Ft Carson, CO, as Battalion Commander, 104th Military Intelligence Battalion, and later served as the G2 (Intelligence), 4th Infantry Division, Ft Carson, CO. Following the War College, he was assigned to the United States Army Intelligence Center, Ft. Huachuca, AZ, with successive assignments as the Director, Combat Developments; Director, Battle Command Battle Lab (Intelligence); and as the Commander, 111th Military Intelligence Brigade, responsible for all Army enlisted and officer Military Intelligence training. Returning to Washington, DC, Colonel (R) Williamson served as the Director, Special Activities, Office of the Secretary of Defense, where he was responsible for the intelligence oversight of the Army's most sensitive human and signals' intelligence activities world-wide and briefed six Congressional committees monthly.

Among his awards are the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with four stars, Army Service Ribbon, Army Overseas Service Ribbon with numeral 2, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Staff Service Medal, Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge, Army Staff Identification Badge, and the Military Intelligence Corps' Knowlton Award.

Colonel (R) Williamson retired from active military service in July 1998. He is Vice-President of Trinity Technology Group, located in Fairfax, VA, where is responsible for the airport passenger screening security operations for ten airports located in Mississippi, South Dakota, Montana, Florida, and California. He is a former president and current member of the Executive Board of the Potomac Chapter, Military Intelligence Corps Association (MICA) and serves as a Boy Scouts of America Eagle Board District Representative.

Colonel (R) Williamson and Elizabeth, a native of Booneville, Mississippi, have two children, both graduates of North Carolina State University. Anne, a School of Design graduate in Graphic and Textile Design, resides in Denver, CO. Mark, an Aerospace Engineering and Humanities graduate, earned a Master of Science in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, and resides in Corvallis, OR, where he is enrolled in a PhD. program in Industrial Engineering at Oregon State University.

Photo of Brigadier General Gerald W. "Gerry" Ketchum

Brigadier General Gerald W. "Gerry" Ketchum

Brigadier General Gerald W. "Gerry" Ketchum leads the Stability Directorate, United States Southern Command, Miami, FL. The Stability Directorate executes theater engagement operations and activities that build partner nation capacity for maintaining democracy, enhancing stability, and establishing collective approaches to regional security. The directorate has primary responsibility for Theater Security Cooperation, including Security Assistance, Training and Exercises, Humanitarian Assistance, Civil Affairs, Human Rights, Modeling, Simulation, Science, Technology, and Experimentation; and integrates medical, engineering, and partner nation training in support of the Commander's strategic objectives.

General Ketchum began his military career as a Reserve Officer Training Corps cadet at Mississippi State University, where he also joined the Mississippi Army National Guard. He has served in numerous command and staff positions.

General Ketchum has extensive experience on the headquarters staffs of the Department of the Army, the National Guard Bureau, and United States Army South. He was on duty in the Army Operations Center during the attack on the Pentagon on 11 September 2001.

General Ketchum was the Army National Guard's Chief of Operations in 2005 for the response to Hurricane Katrina on the United States Gulf Coast and in 2006 - 2007 for Operation Jump Start along the United States Southwest Border. He later deployed to Baghdad in direct support of the United States Army's Third Corps as the Chief of National Guard Affairs for Multi-National Corps - Iraq.

In June 2008, General Ketchum returned to the Pentagon to serve as the Deputy Director of Operations, Readiness and Mobilization for the Department of the Army, supporting Title 10 functions associated with Army current operations, force readiness, mobilization, military support to civil authorities, information operations, electronic warfare, special operation forces, and anti-terrorism/force protection.

Photo of Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Don "D.D." Dickerson

Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Don "D.D." Dickerson

Lieutenant Colonel Jerry D. Dickerson, United States Army, 41, of Durant, Mississippi, was working in the Pentagon when the terrorists attacked on 11 September 2001 and was officially confirmed dead as a result of hostile action on 24 September 2001.

Lieutenant Colonel Dickerson graduated high school in 1978 and joined the Mississippi Army National Guard, serving four years. He attended Mississippi State University earning his bachelor’s degree in Business Economics and received his commission through the ROTC program, graduating as a Distinguished Military Graduate. Commissioned in 1983 as a Regular Army Second Lieutenant in the Field Artillery, he attended his Officer Basic Course at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

Lieutenant Colonel Dickerson’s subsequent assignments provided him a broad base of Troop and Staff positions: Assigned to the Berlin Brigade, he served as a Battalion Fire Support Officer, a Brigade Fire Support Officer and Fire Direction Officer. Returning to Fort Sill he attended the Field Artillery Advanced Course and was subsequently assigned to the 3-18th Field Artillery Battalion where he served as a liaison officer and battery commander. Following his command, he was assigned to Headquarters III Corps Artillery as Secretary of the General Staff. Assignments during his career also included: 2-17th Field Artillery Battalion Camp Hovey, Korea, as the Operations Officer (S3), and Headquarters Department of the Army Office of the Assistant Vice Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff for Programs, Washington DC, where he served as the assistant executive officer

Lieutenant Colonel Dickerson’s awards and decorations include: the Legion of Merit and Purple Heart (both posthumously); the Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters; the Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster; the Army Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster; the National Defense Service Medal; and the Parachutist and Air Assault Badges.

Lieutenant Colonel Dickerson earned a Masters in Operations Analysis & Engineering from Texas A&M in 1992. He then was assigned to Fort Lee, Virginia at the United States Army Logistics Management College. There he assumed the duties as an Assistant Professor of Operations Research at the Army’s primary Operations Research Course, the Operations Research Systems Analysis for Military Applications (ORSA MAC I). He was responsible for instruction in graduate level problem solving methodologies, statistics, math programming, decision theory and cost analysis. LTC Dickerson also had the administrative responsibility of course director to the Management Science phase of the Logistical Executive Development Course (LEDC). In addition to his instructional duties, LTC Dickerson conducted analyses and served as a consultant for the Army and the Department of Defense on technical and tactical issues. During his 18 months as an instructor he constantly received praise from students for his professionalism, leadership and concern for the student’s success. Despite conducting over 1170 class hours to over 450 students in the Continental United States and abroad, LTC Dickerson found the time to develop a course for the Department of Defense on Parametric Cost Estimating. Although several Department of Defense Schools competed for this course offering, LTC Dickerson’s was the clear winner. His class materials were reproduced by the proponent institution and distributed as a user’s manual. Despite his extraordinary teaching load, it was noted that LTC Dickerson still made the time to support the community by serving on Fort Lee post councils, helping the local elementary school with computer training, and coaching youth soccer.

Photo of Lieutenant General Emmett H. “Mickey” Walker, Jr.

Lieutenant General Emmett H. “Mickey” Walker, Jr.

Lieutenant General Emmett H. “Mickey” Walker, Jr. (Retired) was born March 16, 1924 near Abbott, Mississippi. He graduated from Mississippi State University with Special Honors, receiving a BS in Agricultural Economics in 1947. General walker is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the U.S. War College Senior Reserve Component Officer Course.

Starting his military career on Dec. 15, 1942 in the Enlisted Reserve Corps, he was commissioned a second lieutenant by the Infantry Officer Candidate School in May 1944.  His first assignment as an officer was with the 42nd Infantry “Rainbow” Division, Camp Gruber, Oklahoma and shortly thereafter, was ordered overseas and assigned to the 95th Infantry Division in Northern France.

In Sept. 1944, as a Platoon Leader, Cannon Company, 378th Infantry, General Walker entered battle in France at the Metz Fort and following that the Siegfried Line, the Battle of the Bulge and the Rhineland Campaign. During his time in combat he was offered an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, but declined feeling that his country was better served by his remaining in battle with his company. This decision was to prove itself nine days later in an action for which General Walker was to earn the Silver Star for gallantry beyond the call of duty and again on April 14, 1945, when he earned the Bronze Star for Valor.

In May 1949, General Walker joined the Mississippi Army National Guard as a first lieutenant in Battery C, 932nd Field Artillery Battalion, Pontotoc, Miss. On Dec. 16, 1951, then a newly promoted captain, he was mobilized with the 31st Infantry “Dixie” Division at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, for service in the Korean Conflict and subsequently served in the Far East command Liaison Group.

Upon discharge and return to the Mississippi Army National Guard, he served in several assignments in the 31st Division before assuming command of the 4th Battalion, 114th Artillery in February 1961. After serving for four years as commander, 631st Artillery Group, General Walker was promoted to brigadier general, appointed assistant adjutant general, State of Mississippi, where he served until October 1976.

On October 15, 1976, he was ordered to active duty as Deputy Director, Army National Guard, National Guard Bureau, the Pentagon. He became major general, Director of the Army National Guard on August 22, 1978. In August 1982, President Reagan appointed General Walker Chief, National Guard Bureau, and promoted him to lieutenant general.

On August 18, 1986, he retired and returned to his home in Jackson, Miss. Upon return, he was promoted to full General by the State of Mississippi.

General Walker’s decorations include the Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Army Distinguished Service Medal, Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit (2 awards), Bronze Star (2 Awards with “V” Device), Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge.

General Walker was a member of the Christ United Methodist Church Administrative Board and the Rotary Club of Jackson among several other organizations. He also helped establish the Armed Forces Museum founded at Camp Shelby, Miss., and was active in various military organizations, particularly the Mississippi National Guard Officer’s Association and National Guard Officer’s Association.

The general was married to the former Elizabeth Parsons, he fondly called Tuta, who preceded him in death in 2006. He is survived by his children Ann Sansbury, Wyeth Curtis, Kathryn Senseman and John S. Walker.

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