Saturday, September 7, 2013 – In a formal ceremony at Camp Robinson in North Little Rock today, COL. Bob Mason of Fort Smith retired after 32 years with the Arkansas National Guard having served the last seven years as State Surgeon.
Dr. Mason was joined by his wife, Regina, and family as more than 150 friends and fellow ANG soldiers looked on.
COL Mason’s military service began unexpectedly in 1972 as a first semester sophomore playing college football when a “draft” notice arrived. He joined the United States Marine Corps and was discharged in 1974 at the rank of Corporal (E-4).
While serving, COL. Mason was assigned to the III Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Smedley D. Butler in Okinawa, Japan before being transferred to Camp Fuji, Japan for another year.
After his discharge, he returned to college to complete his degree in 1977 before going directly to dental school at the Washington University School of Dental Medicine in St. Louis. Upon graduation, Dr. Mason returned to Fort Smith and began the private dental practice which he still presides over.
Soon after opening his practice, COL. Mason was commissioned as a First Lieutenant in the Arkansas Army National Guard.
His service in the Arkansas Guard sent COL. Mason to Desert Shield/Desert Storm in 1990-1991 and Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005-2006, as well as medical missions in Belize and Ecuador. He has served for seven years on the NGB Medical Advisory Council and five years on the MEDAC Executive Committee, where, for the last three years, he has served as the senior medical representative for Region 6.
Dr. Mason is active in the Arkansas State Dental Association. He served five years on the Executive Council and as ASDA President and is currently a delegate to the American Dental Association House of Delegates. He serves as an Adjutant Faculty at the University of Arkansas Fort Smith Dental Hygiene program and is on the Board of Directors for Delta Dental of Arkansas. COL Mason was inducted into the Arkansas Officials Hall of Fame in 2010 after a 30 year officiating career.
COL Mason’s awards and decorations are the Meritorious Service Medal (with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster), Army Commendation Medal (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Achievement Medal (with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster), Good Conduct Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal (with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters), National Defense Service Medal (with 2 Bronze Service Stars), Iraqi Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal (with Silver Hourglass Device and Mobilization Device), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon (with number 2), Expert Field Medical Badge and the Order of the Military Medical Merit.
COL Mason and his wife, Regina have three grown children and two grandsons and enjoy golf and spending time at the lake.