MG Ernest Massad
General Massad’s military career began in 1933 when he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Artillery upon completion of ROTC at the University of Oklahoma. First military duty included a tour with the Civilian Conservation Corps, Arizona District. He entered active duty in 1940, with the 1st Cavalry Division and joined the 82d Airborne Division upon its activation in 1942. While with the 11th Airborne, he served for a time as Division G-1 and later as Commander of the 675th Para-Glider Field Artillery Battalion and participated in the battles of New Guinea, Leyte and Luzon. His received the Presidential Unit Citation for its participation in warfare in the Pacific Theater. Among his decorations are the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.
He was promoted to Colonel in 1945 and released from active duty in 1946. He returned to Ardmore, Oklahoma and resumed participation in the US Army Reserve. He was assigned Assistant Division Commander of the 95th in January 1958 and the following May was promoted to Brigadier General. He was promoted to Major General on December 11, 1962.
General Massad received the Silver Anniversary All-American football award from Sports Illustrated Magazine in 1956. While playing football at OU he picked up the nickname “Iron Mike” and has carried it since that time. In 1963, General Massad was named the American Lebanese Man of the Year by the Western Federation of American Syrian and Lebanese Clubs.