Theron Ray Arrington
Theron Ray Arrington is inducted into the UTA Military Science Hall of Honor in recognition of his distinguished career and service to the nation as officer in the active Army and as a valued member and leader in his community. Born in Vernon, Texas, Ray grew up in Fort Worth, attended North Side High School and was active in ROTC. He was a member of the National Honor Society and editor of the high school newspaper. His selection as ROTC Group Commander, his participation in Rifle Team, and his role as Commander of the Drill Team led him to the ROTC program in college. He earned a two-year scholarship from General Dynamics to attend college. He enrolled at Arlington State College (now UTA) in 1959, and in the ROTC program the following semester. He completed the Army’s Pilot Training Program during his third year of ROTC. By his senior year, Cadet LTC Arrington had served as a member of the Rifle Team, four years as a member of the Sam Houston Rifles Drill Team (Commander in his third year) and served on the Cadet Corps staff. He was a Distinguished Military Graduate in 1963, with a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Business Management and Marketing, and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Signal Corps.
Arrington served in the Army from July 17, 1963, until his Honorable Discharge on March 1, 1978, as a Major. Although commissioned a Signal Officer, his primary specialty was as Aviation Officer, with a secondary specialty as Combat Signal. He was both a fixed-wing (7 different aircraft) and rotary-wing (two helicopters) aviator, with over 2000 combat flying hours. He served two tours in Vietnam (1966-67 and 1969-70) where he earned 40 Air Medals and the Distinguished Flying Cross as well as the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry w/palm. His military career also included a tour as flight instructor and duty assignments at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey; Headquarters US Forces Tokyo, Japan; and Fort Hood, Texas. His other awards and decorations include Purple Heart, Joint Services Commendation Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Valorous Unit Award, National Defense Service Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Presidential Unit Citation, Senior Army Aviator Badge, Parachutist Badge, Vietnam Service Medal w/1 Silver Service Star, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. Arrington would tell you that the medals do not make him a hero—he considers himself an American.
Following his military service, Arrington settled in Central Texas where he has been self-employed since establishing Arrington Termite and Pest Control over 40 years ago. He is now 81 and still goes to work every day, setting an example and standards for others to follow. He creates businesses and development opportunities that meet the needs of the community. He is a member of the Killeen Chamber of Commerce and the Fort Hood Area Board of Realtors. Arrington and two other local Vietnam veterans were recently celebrated by the Honor Flight Network, a national organization that gives vets from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam the chance to be honored for a day, with visits to various war memorials, including those in Washington, D.C. Arrington felt the day-long trip was fantastic—a trip of a lifetime—and an event he wishes all able veterans could be included in.
Ray Arrington is a Master Mason, a member of Central Christian Church for over 40 years (service as Deacon, Elder, and Trustee), and President of Christian Men’s Fellowship. He coordinated support for a Killeen city-wide Meals on Wheels and Mission Soup Kitchen program, and for Thanksgiving meals at his church for over 200 of the area homeless community. He has been married for 43 years to Linda and is the father of two and grandfather of three. He remains a strong supporter of the Corps of Cadets and Cadet Corps Alumni Council, a Life Member since 2003. “Many fine cadets have graduated from this great ROTC program, and I’m proud to have hailed from its ranks. The UTA ROTC program was the highlight of my college days, and I will cherish those memories forever.”