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Late Pensacola attorney who supported 7th SFG to be inducted into Florida Veterans' Hall of Fame

Jim Thompson
Northwest Florida Daily News

TALLAHASSEE — The late retired Army Brig. Gen. Michael Ferguson, a well-known Pensacola attorney who died in January at the age of 81, is among the 20 people selected for upcoming induction into the Florida Veterans' Hall of Fame.

A 1960 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, Ferguson was an Army Ranger and a Vietnam veteran who also served in West Germany and at the Pentagon.

More (Jan. 2020):Advocate for area Army installations and personnel dies at 81

Following his retirement from the Army, Ferguson attended law school at the University of Florida and became part of the McDonald, Fleming, Moorhead and Ferguson law firm.

More:Fallen 7th SFG soldier remembered by Congress and Jimmy John’s founder

But even, or perhaps especially, as a civilian, Ferguson was focused on the needs and issues of active-duty military personnel and veterans. He was appointed as a civilian assistant to the Secretary of the Army in 2003, a post he held for more than 12 years.

Retired Army Brig. Gen. Micahel Ferguson  is shown early in his military career, which included service in Vietnam. A Pensacola attorney who died earlier this year, Ferguson is being posthumously inducted into the Florida Veterans' Hall of Fame.

Locally, he was very active in supporting the Army's 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), which moved to Eglin Air Force Base from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in 2011. And as a former Army Ranger, he also maintained a considerable interest in the 6th Ranger Training battalion, also headquartered on Eglin.

More:Army 7th SFG soldiers remembered as selfless warriors

“He was a soldier’s soldier. He was not hung up on rank at all,” retired Army Reserve Brig. Gen. Patt Maney, who succeeded Ferguson as the CASA for northern Florida, said following Ferguson's death.

“He was very focused on helping the Army,” Maney said.

Maney also was particularly impressed by the level of Ferguson's investment in helping military personnel and veterans.

Retired Army Brig. Gen. Micahel Ferguson (right) is shown with a World War II veteran and an active-duty Marine during an Emerald Coast Honor Flight, which sent World War II veterans to Washington, D.C., to see memorials to that war. Ferguson, who died in January at the age of 81, will be inducted into the Florida Veterans' Hall of Fame.

“He was all over the place, on his own time and his own dime,” Maney said in January.

Ferguson was nominated for Florida Veterans' Hall of Fame induction by Tom Rice, a local retired Army first sergeant and Fort Walton Beach restaurateur who served as Ferguson’s non-commissioned officer during Ferguson’s service as a civilian assistant to the Secretary of the Army.

Like Maney, Rice earlier this year remembered Ferguson as “a soldier’s soldier.”

“He was a role model for me,” Rice said at the time.

More:Veteran and advocate for military personnel dies at 81

The Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame, established by the state in 2013, is not a traditional military hall of fame, in that it recognizes veterans for their contributions to the state in their post-military lives.

Late Pensacola attorney Michael Ferguson, a retired Army brigadier general, is being inducted posthumously into the Florida Veterans' Hall of Fame.

Specifically, according to its website, the Florida Veterans' Hall of Fame recognizes and honors those military veterans ‎"who, through their works and lives during or after military service, have made a ‎significant contribution to the State of Florida ... in civic, business, public ‎service or other pursuits."

Nominations for inclusion in the Hall of Fame can be submitted by the general public through the organization's website at https://floridaveteranshalloffame.org/

Nominations are reviewed each year by the Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame Council, whose members subsequently forward a report to the governor and Cabinet. Gov. Ron DeSantis and Cabinet officials announced their selection of the latest inductees earlier this week.  

Ferguson is one of 20 veterans chosen for induction into the Hall of Fame's Class of 2020, and is the only posthumous inductee. The time and date for this year's induction ceremony have not yet been announced.