Major General Douglas O. Dollar Distinguished Public Service Award
William “Bill” Leslie Ford
Captain William Leslie Ford was born 16 December 1942 in Shawnee, Oklahoma, and is a 1960 Shawnee High School graduate. After graduating from the University of Oklahoma Army ROTC program in 1964, he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army Field Artillery. After completing Artillery Officer Basic at Fort Sill, he was assigned to Battery B, 1/42 Artillery, 4th Missile Command at Camp Page, South Korea.
Ford was the firing platoon leader of the MGR-1 Honest John nuclear capable rocket system attached to the 1st Republic of Korea Army. The unit's responsibility was to provide field artillery support to deter aggression along the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea, as well as to train South Korean military personnel in his platoon. In 1966, Ford became an instructor at Officer’s Candidate School at Fort Sill. Then, with the Army Reserve, he taught AIT courses at Fort Polk.
After military service, Ford returned to Shawnee to work in the family business at Shawnee Milling Company. In 1979 he became its third President, developing it into one of the leading independent mills in the US. Ford believes his military, business, and civic successes are epitomized by three core values: Love of Country, Devotion to Duty, and Attention to Detail. He notes, “Your success in leadership is based on the success of those you lead.”
For over four decades, Ford invested his time, energy, and resources to advance the interests of Oklahoma business and economic development, education, and veterans recognition. He has been involved with Shawnee’s Veterans Park; the Last Frontier Council of the Boy Scouts; Director at ONEOK; Trustee for the University of Oklahoma Foundation; the Officer Candidate School Alumni Association; and many other organizations. Captain Ford is a worthy recipient of the Major General Douglas O. Dollar Distinguished Public Service Award for exemplary public and local community service. He has gone above and beyond in support of Oklahoma’s veterans, scouting, businesses, educational institutions, and his community.