Empty memory remaining: 84.376 kB
In Memory Of Our
Deceased Members
Michael Ferguson
Full Name
Michael Ferguson
Date of Death
1 / 20 / 2020
Veteran of...
  • Vietnam War
  • Cold War
(Ret.) Brigadier General Michael Lambert Ferguson, an esteemed community leader in the Pensacola area, passed away on Saturday, January 18, 2020. He was 81 and lived with grace, dignity, integrity and courage. Gen. Ferguson was graduated from the West Point Military Academy in 1960. “Iron Mike” went on to serve with distinction and honor in cold-war-era West Germany and Vietnam where he was awarded a Purple Heart, one of more than 30 awards, decoration, and badges he received. His exemplary service is noted in a December 10, 1968 Look Magazine article; novel The Stuff of Heroes (by William Cohen); and The Lost Battalion of Tet by Charles A. Krohn, 2008. His accolades, awards and accomplishments are too numerous to mention. Gen. Ferguson also served at the highest levels of military command in the Pentagon before his “first” retirement. After retirement, Michael was admitted to law school at the University of Florida, and had a distinguished career with the firm of McDonald, Fleming, Moorhead and Ferguson, whose name has now been shortened to just “McDonald-Fleming.” His clients included several high-profile clients, including Pensacola native and hall-of-fame member Emmitt Smith, and Danny Wuerffel. He achieved the highest rating offered by Martindale-Hubbell, “AV,” reserved for exceptional lawyers. He remained a valued “counsel emeritus” partner in the firm until his passing, and his wisdom and wit were frequently quoted. “We still attribute to Mike the true statement that you should never make more enemies that you can simultaneous engage,” said his long-time law partner and friend, Ed Fleming. “Mike was a great American, and his loss is a loss for not only his family and friends, but the nation and this community.” Even as a lawyer, Mike never lost his love for the military men and women he had served with and led, serving as the Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army (CASA – 3 star level according to Army protocol). Mike represented Florida (North) starting July 2003 and was named Emeritus in January 2018 where he was a tireless (and effective) advocate for military members and their families. Mike was a man of faith, and co-founded a Bible Study that has met twice monthly for more than 23 years. The camaraderie and fellowship he experienced with them was very influential in his life. Gen. Ferguson was a 7th generation Pensacola native, and counted amongst his long-line of relatives Spanish Soldier Don Manuel Gonzalez, and Col. William Travis of Alamo fame. Mike was born to Lloyd Gibson Ferguson, who was KIA in WWII a day after the Battle of the Bulge, and Natalie Lambert Cason, who predeceased him. He was a loyal son of his hometown. He cherished his many cousins and family members here, and loved family reunions. Mike was married for almost 60 years to the love of his life, Jane M. Ferguson. Their love story and bond was so special to him. She served by his side thru his military career as a strong loving military wife and they were always best of friends. His survivors include his loving wife, Jane M. Ferguson; his sister, Patricia Ann Cason and her husband, John Dixon; his children, Michelle Ferguson-Cohen and husband, Adiel Cohen, Cathy Ferguson and his son Michael, Jr. and wife Hege Ferguson. He also leaves behind three grandchildren, Elise and Connor Ferguson and Elle Cohen. Funeral Service will be 12:30 pm Tuesday, January 28, 2020 at the First Baptist Church in Pensacola, with Dr. Ross Lankford and Dr. Henry Roberts officiating. Burial will follow at Barrancas National Cemetery with full Flag Officer military honors. The family would like to extend special thanks to the Fort Rucker Honor Guard Team for their exceptional service and support provided. Bio Michael Lambert Ferguson Mike Ferguson, born 4 September 1938, is a 6th generation native of Pensacola, Florida. His father, PFC Lloyd G. Ferguson, volunteered for the Army Infantry in WWII and was a heavy machine gunner in the 8th Infantry Division. His father was KIA after the Battle of the Bulge and the Hurtgen Forest and Aachen battles in the attack on Cologne and is buried in Belgium. His mother, Natalie Lambert, was 29 at the time. He then spent a little over six months in St. Augustine, Florida, attending St. Joseph’s Academy, a Catholic Boarding School in the third grade. Mike returned to Pensacola and played baseball on the first little league team in Pensacola in 1949 and was selected for various all star mentions several times. From about 1949-1951 he lived in Ft. Walton, Panama City and DeFuniak Springs after his mother married FHP Casey Cason. He then returned to Pensacola. He played sand lot football with the Catalonia Park team winning several league championships. He was in Honor Society and a leader in student government and Christian organizations in High School. He was a paper boy from age 12 to 14, and then worked in a wholesale plumbing company through high school. He was a “Star” Scout and a member of the Order of the Arrow. He attended Boys State as the representative from Pensacola High School (later returning as a Cadet and Lieutenant speaker as well as a counselor). He competed nationally for an appointment to West Point under the Sons of Deceased Veterans allocation and was one of 13 selected in 1956. He was elected to the Pensacola High School Hall of Fame in 2000. Ferguson is also related to several founding families of Pensacola including Spanish Soldier Don Manuel Gonzalez who helped the Spanish settle in Pensacola after General Galvez defeated the British settlement there, as well as Civil War Mayor Bobe and others on the Ferguson side. On the Lambert side, he is related to several British Generals who were in the British Army from the fifteen hundreds through the war of 1812. His 1st Cousin five times removed was Colonel William Travis of Alamo fame. After attending the United States Military Academy and convincing the Surgeon General that he could pass any physical test (having had both knees injured as a Cadet), he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant of Infantry in the Regular Army on June 8, 1960. After commissioning, he attended the Basic Course, Airborne and Ranger School (where he was a "Winter Ranger" and "strong swimmer"). Following that, he took a troop "packet" from Ft. Dix to Bremerhaven on the U.S.N.S. Geiger during the winter. He joined the 2d Armored Rifle Bn, 50th Inf (later 3d Bn 51st Inf), Combat Command B, 4th Armored Division and served as Rifle Platoon Leader, Mortar Platoon Leader, Company Executive Officer, and by age 23 a Company Commander, followed by an assignment as Battalion S-3 air of his unit in Erlangen, Germany. He left Winter Shield One, a Europe wide exercise, at its end to marry Jane Lang in Buffalo, N.Y. on 4 November 1961. They honeymooned in New York City and Amsterdam for about four days and then returned to Erlangen, not to take a leave again until just before orders to return to the U.S. This was the period of the Iron Curtain or Wall Crisis and fully 40% of Ferguson's tour was spent in the field or on or near the border with his unit. As a Lieutenant, he was number one out of 16 winners and 260 division candidates for the Expert Infantryman Badge. The deciding factor was his patrol leadership skills displayed when the Patrol had been lost on the final night patrol in snow and ice and he was appointed patrol leader to guide the patrol to its objective. While a Company Commander, he volunteered his company for guerilla and support duty with Major Ralph Puckett, Jr., Commander Provisional Training Company, 10th Special Forces Group (ABN), 1st Special Forces and received a Letter of Appreciation stating: "The interest and enthusiasm displayed by your company . . . contributed extensively to the success of this . . . exercise." He was nominated for several clandestine operations during his service in Europe. The 7th Army Training Test Evaluations also made it clear that his company performed the best of all Battalion Companies. Of note were LTC Robert Lamb's comments that during a mounted night attack ". . . in extremely dense fog, where other units had become disoriented, Lt. Ferguson's unit, because of its prior training and detailed orders, and outstanding command directions, was successful in using the fog for concealment and secured its objective." He was assigned to the Infantry School in 1964 as an instructor in the Platoon Tactics Committee where he instructed in several areas including: Fundamentals of Offense and Defense and Estimates and Orders, The Night Relief and Defense, Platoon/Company in the Defense, Combat in Built up Areas, and Leadership. He published "Seize and Clear", an article on combat in built up areas, in the Infantry Magazine. He was awarded the Tiger Award by the Basic Course Student Commander for Best Instructor and while instructing, concurrently completed night courses leading to the award of his MA in International Relations from American University in 1967. He and Jane had two girls (Michelle – 1965 and Cathy – 1966) during that time. After Career Course, Prefix 5 (nuclear operations course), Special Warfare School, Military Assistance Training Advisor Sector/Unit Course, and Vietnamese Language Course, Captain Ferguson was sent to I Corps., Vietnam where he was assigned to the 1st ARVN Infantry Division Advisory Team as Battalion Advisor, 4th Bn, 3rd Regiment, as counterpart to a major who had 13 years of experience in the Indochina conflict. Battalion operations were frequent, long and full of surprises, such as ambushes, well hidden mines, and little support from artillery or air. Ferguson had his battalion counterpart conduct new training and innovative operations to include battle drill for the frequent convoy protection duty from Hue to DaNang, night battalion sweeps along the "Street without Joy" from PhuVang/PhuBai south towards DaNang, and amphibious assaults along the same area using Naval gunfire and ANGLICO teams. While the Battalion Commander was ". . . adverse to advice from any quarter.", he was won over by Captain Ferguson being " . . . cool under fire" and having ". . . good judgment, integrity and understanding." His counterpart referred to him as ". . . his best advisor." Ferguson's Senior Regimental Advisor also said ". . . during . . . Ferguson's tenure, this battalion became the battalion with the best combat record in the Regiment." He also constantly coordinated with adjacent operational units/organizations, including RF/PF,AF,USMC, CIA and many ARVN units who were in the 11th and 12th DTA during the 1967-68 period. Upon promotion to Major, he was assigned as 3d Regimental Staff Advisor and based on a steady build up in contact began bunker building at an old French fort named PK17 which guarded the northern approaches to Hue. At Tet and for almost 30 days, battalions of the Regiment and PK17 were cut off with little or no support. Sixteen enemy battalions struck the City of Hue and the ARVN units around Hue, including the PK17 Command Post. Rocket and mortar attacks were launched daily against PK17. The PK17 area held as did the MACV compound south of the Perfume River and the 1st ARVN Infantry Division Headquarters in the Northeast corner of the Citadel. ARVN and PF forces around PK17 started patrols immediately and 3d Regiment elements held the North approach to Hue so that ARVN Airborne, Ranger and Cav units from the North could move into Hue. Almost at the onset of Tet the four Regimental Advisors at PK17 were struck with mortars and 122mm rockets. Early on, during one such attack, an NVA mortar round landed just several feet away from Ferguson rupturing his eardrums and killing the advisor next to him. Many Vietnamese soldiers in the compound were also killed by the attacks. Ferguson carried the advisor’s body to a bunker and began directing counter fires. Contact with all support was virtually nonexistent and only by Ferguson's numerous broadcasts on all channels was some Medevac even attempted. The first few dust offs were shot down or disabled. Eventually most of the ARVN 3d Regiment and all advisors except Ferguson and one NCO moved to Division headquarters. Ferguson then was the on the ground ARVN coordinator with the 1st Cavalry Division's Advance Brigade and 2/12 Infantry Battalion and, on request, secured an LZ near PK 17 with his ARVN driver to land the first combat elements of the 1st CAV into this battle. Just as Ferguson guided the first assault elements of the 2/12 Cav into the LZ, it was struck with a barrage of 122mm rockets and the 2/12 immediately moved South towards the LaChu woods where they were pinned down for many days. Ferguson began work with the 3rd Brigade of the 1st Cav and the 2/12 Bn Command Group to establish bunkers (and to protect them from constant barrages) to be used as a fire coordination center within the 3d Regiment’s Rear CP Perimeter. His Bronze Star for Valor during this period reads: "Without regard for his personal safety, Major Ferguson continuously exposed himself to great danger as he guided the landing and deployment of heliborne . . . relief forces and assisted in the treatment of wounded personnel while under fire. Major Ferguson also guided a vital resupply column through enemy infested territory with no loss of men or material." Rocket and mortar barrages continued and more U.S. and ARVN were killed or wounded including Major Ferguson who was wounded during another rocket barrage. Without regard for his safety, he dragged several wounded to a bunker and moved to the CP to provide coordination for an immediate reprisal. The Executive Officer of the 2/12 Cav and Major Ferguson also focused on ammunition and artillery support as well as food for the civilian population, who after 7-12 days of being surrounded and under attack, were out of food and near riot conditions. Lt. Col Dick Sweet, Commander of the 2/12 Cav stated: "Major Ferguson . . . Chief Advisor . . . was of immeasurable assistance to this command . . . upon the initial arrival . . . provided bunkers, protected from enemy indirect weapons attack . . . his most helpful . . . actions was the efficient liaison . . . between our personnel and the ARVN soldiers." Ferguson was also awarded the Bronze Star by Col. Robert MacKinnon, Brigade Commander, 1st Cavalry Division for his support and coordination of the 3rd Brigade Air Assaults and follow on operations. After over thirty days surrounded by Vietcong and NVA, the enemy forces began withdrawing. Ferguson coordinated fires to track their retreat along ARVN outpost lines. The 1st ARVN Infantry Division Advisory Team and the 1st ARVN Infantry Division lost over 1600 KIA and 6,675 WIA during this period. Over 12,664 indigenous VC/NVA were killed and 5,662 weapons were captured. Following Tet, Ferguson, as a three month in grade, 29 year old Major, and weighing no more than 124 pounds after a bout with dengue fever, was assigned to duty as Senior Advisor to the ARVN 1st Regiment stationed at Quang Tri, a "Brigade level" position. His reputation as being "cool under fire" and "the outstanding Major of the Division Advisory Detachment" caused his superiors to send him North immediately to begin major operations with his full Colonel counterpart. Ferguson convinced his counterpart to establish regimental training goals to become the best regiment in the ARVN and begin large scale regimental operations with U.S. Units. His regiment was the first to conduct a regimental size night combat assault with the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) and also combat assaulted into Ashau twice in 1968, once with the 1st Cavalry Division and once with the 101st Airmobile Division, both times under intense anti-aircraft fire. The 1st Regiment with Ferguson's 20 man Army, Marine and Australian team with supporting AF observation aircraft conducted combat operations for over 160 days with 2 or more of 5 battalions and attached units in the field at all times. "Much of the time, the Regiment was committed simultaneously to two operations and a security mission in widely separated areas . . . . Significant victories during this period were made possible in large degree by his advice." In addition, Ferguson managed coordination, support and air assault commander roles spread over an area that included the DMZ, Cua Viet, Khe Sanh, Ashau, Tabat, Alui, Quang Tri and all areas north of Hue. He was one of only two advisors awarded the individual fourragere during this period, by MG Truong, the ARVN 1st Division Commander, for distinction in successive "fierce" combat operations. General Truong later stated “This American soldier represents all the best of the thousands of brave and unheralded advisors that assisted my soldiers and my country.” His authority to wear the Award of the Presidential Unit Citation for operations in Northern I Corps for this period named the 1st ARVN Infantry Division and attachments that included the ARVN 1st Ranger Task Force, 21st Ranger Battalion, 37th and 39th Ranger Battalion as well as others. He was awarded numerous other Vietnamese and U.S. Awards during the period of almost five months of Brigade Level advisor time. His command and control helicopters were crippled by enemy fire on two occasions but made controlled hard landings so that he could switch helicopters and continue his mission. Although awarded only one Air Medal because he did not want to be considered a tabulator of air hours, he had over 1000 combat hours flown including CAV and AF reconnaissance missions, most of which were combat assault/air commander hours. His unit's exemplary role in the Vietnam War and his leadership was noted in a December 10, 1968 "Look Magazine" article, the Leadership Book The Stuff of Heroes by MG William Cohen, U.S. Air Force Retired and The Lost Battalion of Tet by Charles A. Krohn, 2008. He served as assistant SGS, Third U.S. Army upon his return from RVN and was selected early to attend Naval War College Command and Staff. During this time his son was born (Michael Junior – 1970). He then returned, as a Major, to RVN as the "Close Hold" Planner of USARV, responsible for coordinating redeployment of U.S. Army Forces and was the principal action officer to coordinate all Army actions on receipt of Presidential guidance. He received a special report and Legion of Merit for "performance flawless" leadership including being the chair of the Major Command Campaign Planning Group of "15 Majors, Lt. Colonels and Colonels". The USARV Certificate of Achievement was also presented for "actions . . . so exceptional . . . un-exceeded by any other staff officer at USARV." He returned from RVN to serve as: a Battalion Executive Officer who the Commander stated he would "willingly entrust my command to in time of combat . . . without qualification," Assistant Division G-3, Division G-3, and Infantry Battalion Commander. He was considered the ". . . best cdr I have seen in my 20 years of service" by Brigade Commander, Colonel Henry Doctor and was singled out as the commander "who . . . set the pace for all other Infantry Battalions" by MG Harry Brooks. While Battalion Commander, his intense infantry training programs included such innovative events as the "Bobcat Combat Run" where platoons were timed in a ten mile run with full field equipment and scored on a live fire assault at its culmination. Continuous individual skills training qualified over 115 of his soldiers to be awarded the EIB. As the QRF Battalion for the 25th Infantry Division, he was alerted to take his battalion into RVN in 1975 to secure bridges and assist evacuation of U.S. Forces and key personnel, but as the RVN fell, was diverted to Guam to organize refugee efforts for 40,000 Vietnamese soldiers and civilians being evacuated to Orote Point, Guam. His battalion, as it deployed, was the first U.S. Infantry Battalion to have a company of WACs attached. He received a letter of commendation from the Governor of Guam for his unit's actions and numerous other awards. He was deferred from early attendance at the Army War College in 1975 by BG Harley Mooney to be a Lt. Colonel assignment officer at MILPERCEN and subsequently was assigned as Infantry Branch Chief. As the Infantry Branch Chief, CAD at MILPERCEN, Colonel Bud Sydnor called him ". . . most outstanding Infantry LTC in the Army." Brigadier General Ben Doty said "Mike Ferguson leaves his contemporaries in the dust. This officer is one of few who really knows what he is doing." Ferguson was also nominated to be a "White House Fellow." He attended the National War College and obtained his MA in Business Management from Central Michigan University in 1977. He served as Program Coordination Team Chief, OCSRDA in the Pentagon and afterwards was selected early as a 38 year old Colonel to Command the DMZ Brigade in Korea. He commanded the 3d Brigade, 2d Infantry Division for four months until he returned to CONUS for compassionate reasons. On the DMZ he commanded and coordinated three maneuver battalions, all DMZ mission units, 14 camps, 8 radar sites and two DMZ guard posts. Patrolling and reconnaissance in the DMZ was combat focused and General James Moore called him "a soldier's soldier." MG Bob Kingston elaborated by lauding his ". . . superb leadership." He returned to Washington, D.C. as Assistant Deputy Director of Operations, National Military Command Center and served for a few days short of one year. While there, he was on duty during several complex and significant "real world" situations requiring flawless performance. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General David C. Jones, commented on the "superb handling of the situation." Rear Admiral Austin stated he was an "impressive leader" with "great moral courage" and Rear Admiral Thomas Watson added that he ". . . was head and shoulders above his contemporaries." MG James Johnson saw his performance of duty such that he called him the ". . . most outstanding Colonel on the Joint Staff. . . and his advice has been sought by DOD Consultants." He was then assigned to Command the 2d Brigade, 5th Mechanized Infantry Division at Fort Polk for 27 months. His total time in Brigade Command or that level advisory duty was close to 37 months, one of the longest Brigade command times in recent years. His battalion units assisted in the Cuban Refugee Operation at Ft. Chaffee, Arkansas during this time. The capstone of his tour with the 5th Mech Division was deployment of his unit to the National Training Center ". . . where the soldiers of his combined arms team performed better than any other unit that has been there - before or since" stated General Tom Kelly. After his early promotion to Brigadier General in 1983 at the age of 44, Ferguson was again assigned to Washington, serving as Director, Materiel Plans and Programs, a two star position, where MG Richard Kenyon said he was "head and shoulders above his contemporaries . . . ." and "epitomizes the meaning of the title 'General'." Ferguson was subsequently assigned overseas for the fifth time, as Deputy Commanding General/Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, Japan, a two star position where his counterpart was the Vice Chief of Staff, Japan Ground Self Defense Force. The Commanding General, LTG Alexander Weyand called him the "best Brigadier General in the U.S. Army . . . a professional model for all of us. He is guided by duty, honor, and country and does not equivocate in pursuit of these high ideals in his daily work". In 1985, Ferguson was again assigned to Washington, D.C. in a two star position as Deputy Chief of Staff for Development, Engineering and Acquisition, Army Materiel Command where he coordinated major testing and acquisition programs, including many "black" programs. He conducted international negotiations in Europe and Asia during his general officer assignments. He retired in 1986 at age 47. Brigadier General Ferguson has been awarded some 30 plus awards, decorations, and badges including the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star with one "V" device and three oak leaf clusters, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with 7 campaign stars, the Korea Defense Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal with star, The Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas service Ribbon with numeral three, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device, Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with 3 silver stars and 1 gold star, the Vietnamese National Honor Medal, First Class, individual award of the Vietnamese Fourragere, the Presidential Unit Citation, and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with Palm. He has also been awarded the CIB, EIB, Parachutist Badge, Ranger Tab, and Department of the Army General Staff Identification Badge. Upon retirement in 1986, Ferguson immediately began his law school studies at the University of Florida and was active in many University and Civic activities. He was given a special induction to the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and established four "Commitment to Excellence Awards" in 1987. He was awarded two "Book" awards for the highest test results in Constitutional Law and Comparative Law. He was selected for the Judicial Clerkship Program, First Judicial Court of Florida in 1987 and the Florida Bar Judicial Clerkship Program in 1988 (declined). He wrote the legal pamphlet How to Utilize Historical Rehabilitation Incentives to Help your Community and your own Pocketbook in 1988 and published The Florida Clerkship Guide in 1989. He served as Master, Board of Masters, University of Florida from 1988-1989 and was a Director of the Council of Ten Judicial Clerkship Program at the University of Florida. He was called on to provide some national security advice during the 1988 Presidential Primary period. He established a relationship with the University of Florida ROTC unit and endowed a Joint Interservice Cooperation Award there in 1993 in honor of his father PFC Lloyd G. Ferguson. Upon graduation he was given the President's Recognition Award and subsequently honored at a UF football game halftime ceremony as an outstanding military graduate. In 1989 he passed the Florida Bar and began his legal practice as an attorney in Pensacola, Florida. He became licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia in 1990 and to practice before the Federal Court, Northern District of Florida in 1991. In 1992 he joined the firm of McDonald, Fleming, Moorhead and Ferguson as a full partner. He was appointed by the Governor as a Member of the State Board of Trustees for the Historic Pensacola Preservation Board and appointed a member of the Planning Board, City of Pensacola in 1992. His community activities over the last several decades have been numerous, covering almost every charitable and civic area. He served as President of the USMA Washington, D.C. USMA Class of 1960; director for the Sabine Yacht and Racquet Club; a member of the Board of Governors, Fiesta of Five Flags and the “Saints and Sinners Service Club, Pensacola; Chairman, Committee of 400, National Museum of Naval Aviation; President, Panhandle Tiger Bay Club; Military Economic Development Committee, Pensacola Chamber of Commerce; Board of Directors, St. Michael's Cemetery Foundation; Member, Advisory Board, the Salvation Army; Legislative Liaison, the Retired Officers Association, Pensacola; Member, University of West Florida Planning Council; Member, University of Florida, College of Law Alumni Council; Member, Baptist Health Care Corporation; Member, County Commission Committee for Selection of County Administrator; Board of Directors, NW Florida Blood Center Foundation; Member of Citizens Review for Governor Elect Charlie Crist Transition Team; and donor to numerous charitable projects and fundraisers such as the Heart Society; Autism Society of Pensacola; Council on Aging; West Point Class of 1960 contributions; Pensacola WWII Memorial, Korean War Memorial; Vietnam War Memorial and POW/MIA Memorial; the "Nick Rowe" Memorial; College of Business, UWF Capital Campaign; IMAX Theatre and Naval Flight Academy, National Museum of Naval Aviation; National Army Museum; National Infantry Museum; National Armor Museum; National Aviation Museum; The West Point Fund; Old Christ Church Restoration Committee; University of Florida College of Law; University of Florida Athlete Scholarships; and NW Florida Legal Services. Ferguson has received recognition for his many accomplishments in numerous Who's Who type books including Who's Who of Business Leaders; on the cover of Great Plains Game and Fish Magazine; by the passing of a Florida Senate Resolution of 1998 recognizing him as an Outstanding Citizen; being designated an Honoree of Beta Gamma Sigma, a Business Fraternity, in 1999; by selection for his high school Hall of Fame in 2000; awarding of honorary alumnus by UWF in 2012; by appointment as Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army in 2003 and as Senior Civilian Aide in 2013; And by special mention in the book Growing up in Pensacola, 2009. He received his first Paul Harris Fellow Award in 2005 from International Rotary and another in 2010. His wife, Jane, is also a Paul Harris Fellow. He has been awarded the Order of Saint Maurice by the National Infantry Association. His law practice has grown over the twenty years he has practiced and Ferguson has been recognized as an attorney of the highest caliber by being the first in his firm to receive the award in 1999 of the highest attorney rating possible by Martindale-Hubbell, the Av rating. His practice in business law also included sports management. Ferguson began sports law activities in 1991 assisting such players as Emmitt Smith, Emory Smith and Danny Wuerffel. He was a certified sports agent from 1995 to 2003. He has worked in almost every sports area and helped form the original XFL indoor football league in 1998 which then merged with the Arena Football 2 League. He has been counsel for numerous professional sports teams as well as legal consultant for Arena Football 2. He is an adjunct professor at the University Of West Florida College Of Business and has lectured in sports management there, at the University of Florida and the Georgia Southern University. He is presently inactive in his law firm. Ferguson currently serves as a Trustee Emeritus, University of Florida Law Center Association Board of Trustees; past Chairman of the Advisory Council College of Business, University of West Florida (UWF); is a member of the UWF Military Community Policy Council; Inactive member of the Florida and District of Columbia Bar Associations; the Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar Association; member of the Rotary International; the AOG, USMA; Gator Boosters, UF; Military Affairs Committee, Pensacola Rotary; and Gideons International. He is a Christian and an original, co-founder of a local bible study group, which has over 50 members that have met twice monthly for over 21 years. He and his wife have funded an endowment for scholarships for children of military veterans at UWF and contributed scholarship funds at UF for student athletes in honor of their friends and clients Emmitt Smith and Danny Wuerffel. They sponsored The Santa Rosa Veteran’s Memorial and a “Heroes” history book for all 8th grade students in Santa Rosa County, Florida. They also funded the Army Memorial Bench for POW/MIA’s at Pensacola Veterans Park. He is a life member of the National Infantry Association; AUSA; ‘the US Army Ranger Association’; ‘Disabled American Veterans’; American Legion, ‘VFW, Military Order of the Purple Heart’; MOAA; and the West Point Society of Northwest Florida. In 2002 his daughter, Michelle, wrote and illustrated a widely acclaimed children’s book called Daddy, You’re My Hero! and dedicated it to her mother and father and her father’s parents for their service to the U.S. Army. After retiring from the Army and establishing a successful law practice in Northwest Florida, Mike Ferguson, was appointed as Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army in 2003. This is a three star position reporting to the Secretary of the Army. He held his investiture at the Florida Ranger Camp, Eglin AFB and invited a wide range of dignitaries and military officials in order to bring attention to the presence of Camp Rudder and its vital role in training Army Rangers. As part of his role as Advisor to the Secretary of the Army, the Governor of Florida, and Senior Army officials, he improved his already established strong ties with local, state and national leaders to ensure increased support for Ranger and 7th Special Forces Group soldiers and families and other Florida Army elements. Over a period of more than twelve years he has worked closely with five Secretaries of the Army, four Florida Governors, numerous congressional and state leaders, as well as Army Special Forces and Ranger Commanders to ensure millions of dollars of support were provided and local and regional governments worked to improve relations and fully integrate Army troops and families into their communities. He served as Advisory Board Member of the Innovative Creative Learning Center and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, Emerald Coast Honor Flight. He established outstanding ROTC Cadet Leader Awards at the University of Florida, Florida State University, Florida A & M and the University of West Florida encouraging participation in Best Ranger competitions and visits to Camp Rudder by ROTC leaders, Presidents of Universities and Colleges, and vital centers of influence leaders. The scholarships established for Veterans and children of Veterans at the University of West Florida have been provided for over 25 students since establishment in 2001. He has provided funding and support of numerous Ranger, Special Forces and soldier oriented activities over the last ten years, including Fisher House, Christmas parties for Children of Ranger Cadre and Special Forces and other ceremonies and visits by key State leaders. He has been a major contributor to the 7th SFG “Jingle Bell Jog” fund raiser. He also provided support for the Army and military facilities where Rangers, Special Forces and other Army elements were present by serving on the Florida BRAIVE Fund Advisory Board which made grants for deploying and returning soldiers and their families when in need. He has served as coordinator for support of wounded warriors as needed by Army and State authorities and other assistance groups, ensuring that legal care, money and often homes were provided as needed. His care of soldiers and improvement of Special Forces and Ranger facilities at Eglin over the years and recent focus on the US Army EOD Training Battalion has been vital to the continued improvement of conditions for troops and families and funds being provided for reconstruction and building of necessary facilities and roads. He is an honorary member of the 350th Civil Affairs Command. This continuous involvement by Mike Ferguson in National, State and local decision making processes has resulted in support of all kinds to include Army Covenant ceremonies, inclusion of Army representation in local military Advisory Committees as well as supplemental allocations of funds by government and other sources. In particular, the visits of key legislators and leaders to Camp Rudder and Ferguson’s bringing constant attention to the need to improve Ranger facilities have aided the provision of millions of dollars in supplemental and regular funds to help bring Camp Rudder up to Army standards. Colonel, now Major General, K.K. Chinn, past Ranger Training Brigade Commander said, “I fully realize that much of the support the 6th Ranger Training Battalion received … with … construction was a direct result of your efforts and your efforts alone … it was your vision that got us to where we are today – almost a totally rebuilt Ranger Camp – Thanks for all you do for Rangers and the U.S. Army.” Mike Ferguson has also taken a lead role in Florida to make sure the 7th SFG troops were welcomed and supported upon their relocation to Eglin AFB. He has been instrumental in several actions being taken to provide adequate funding for roads and facilities, briefings to key government leaders, community coordination to assist the smooth relocation and transition of the 7th SFG and its families while the group maintained its combat mission status. In his role as Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army, and a life member of the United States Army Ranger Association, he exemplifies the Ranger creed that states, “Never shall I fail my comrades.” He was appointed a Senior Civilian Aide by the Secretary of the Army in 2013 and has continued his comprehensive service. He has paid for and presented Army ROTC Best Cadet awards to major Florida universities since 1989 and was highlighted in the Educational Forums Book “Creating a Veteran Friendly Campus: Strategies for Transition and Success”, saying the military on campus constitutes a valued constituency for universities. In 2014 he was honored for his extensive work for UWF and his chairmanship of the College of Business Advisory Council for over twenty years, as well as his and his wife’s funding of College Scholarships each year for over twenty years to Veterans and/or family members of Veterans taking UWF courses to include College of Business courses. In 2014, he was honored by the Association of the Army of the United State of America by the presentation of the AUSA, “Brenda M. Dougherty AUSA Lifetime of Service Award” at an awards dinner on March 1, 2014. The award is presented to an AUSA Third Region member (NC-FL) who has demonstrated a lifetime of dedicated service to AUSA through their volunteer efforts at the Chapter, State and/or Regional levels. Shortly thereafter on March 7th, he provided an interview to Sue Straughn, anchor newscaster for WEAR-TV, Channel 3, Pensacola on the importance of supporting our Army men, women and families of Florida when he was surprised by the assembly of members of his law firm as Sue announced his selection as an “Angel” for her show to be shown on 11 March, 2014 called “Angels in our Midst.” His comment was our military are the true Angels. Recently the UWF Board of Trustees also named him as a recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Humane letters awarded at the spring 2014 commencement ceremonies and he delivered the commencement addresses. President Judith A. Bense stated “Your distinguished career, excellent character, extraordinary achievements and contributions to our country, community and university exemplify the standards required for the bestowing of an honorary Doctorate, the University’s highest honor.” Newly selected President Martha Saunders also supported his efforts by stating, “your support of our military veteran and family students continues to impact many lives within the UWF community. It would be an honor and privilege to recognize your generosity at the UWF’s Annual Military and Veterans Resource Center Donor Recognition Luncheon on July 27, 2017. The luncheon will be at the Argonaut Athletic Club starting at 11:30 a.m. As a true war hero, you are an amazing role model for our men and women in the military. Through your esteemed career in the U.S. Army and your leadership as a “white thread” Ranger, you have influenced the lives of countless soldiers under your command. Our students at UWF have also benefitted from your wisdom since your retirement in 1986. We are grateful for your generous support and advocacy for the university of our students! Since the Military and Veterans Resource Center opened in 2011, thousands of active duty military, veterans and families have come through its door to use our services to further their educational and career goals. Having generous donors such as you and Jane enables us to offer additional financial resources so that our military can successfully complete their education.” He was also featured in the spring 2014 edition of the University of Florida Law Magazine calling him “Warrior Lawyer” for his outstanding work in Florida and particularly as an advocate for Veterans and Service to the Florida community. In addition, the Central Michigan University magazine “Centralight” Winter 2015 edition featured him in a full page article honoring him for being a Veteran “who volunteers his time to help Veterans and their families. Mike often states that he is very proud of his family, past and present, particularly his Dad, KIA WWII and his Mother, Natalie Lambert, who sacrificed much so that he could have an opportunity to obtain a college education and serve the USA. He has always been equally proud of his half sister Patricia. Most importantly, he has been supported and loved since 1961 by his beautiful wife Jane who bore the enormous burden and worked during the many years he was deployed and/or working in arduous conditions, in raising their three children: Michelle, Cathy and Mike, Jr. who all turned out to be the joy of his life along with Grandchildren Elise, Connor and Elle. His hobbies are surfing, hunting, and helping soldiers and soldiers’ families. His three children, son in law, friends and some fellow soldiers have the following comments: