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.