Oklahoma National Guard officer promoted to general

Brig. Gen. Walter E. Fountain has served in the U.S. Army for 31 years.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Published: December 3, 2011
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Oklahoma's newest general is a state native who has spent 31 years in the U.S. Army.

And his wife is a sorority sister of the governor.

Brig. Gen. Walter E. Fountain, 50, of the Oklahoma National Guard, received his one-star symbols and his general's flag Friday during a pinning ceremony at the state Capitol.

Fountain, whose promotion was approved last month, previously served as deputy chief of staff operations for the Oklahoma National Guard.

He now serves as assistant adjutant general for the Army.

Fountain, a native of Prague who lives in Norman, served in Iraq in 2008-09.

His military medals include the Bronze Star and the Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters.

“This kind of leadership doesn't come instantaneously,” said Maj. Gen. Myles Deering, the state's adjutant general. “It's grown in an organization and it's grown based on men of integrity.”

Fountain's wife, Beth, and his mother, Anna Godfredson, put his general-rank shoulder boards on his jacket, and his children, Eric and Lauren, fastened his general-rank epaulets on his shirt.

“It takes a lot of hard work to get to this day,” Gov. Mary Fallin said. “It takes tremendous sacrifice. It takes dedication. It takes perseverance.”

Fallin also acknowledged the sacrifices made by Fountain's family.

Fallin said she knew Beth Fountain since the two lived in the same sorority house about 30 years ago at Oklahoma State University.

“Beth, I bet you never thought you'd be here today doing this kind of thing back a couple years ago when we were at Oklahoma State,” the governor quipped.