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Meet seven notable Military Freemasons and discover how their Masonic values shaped their service and leadership.

The U.S. military embodies the ultimate form of public service through the defense of our country and its values. As Freemasons, we strive to be of service to our community and nation, particularly in the Scottish Rite, where Devotion to Country is one of our six Core Values.

From the indomitable spirit of Brother Winston Churchill, whose leadership was pivotal during the darkest hours of World War II, to the strategic genius of Brother Douglas MacArthur, 32°, in the Pacific theater, and the heroic valor of Brother Sammy Lee Davis, 33°, these Masons exemplified courage, integrity, and a deep commitment to the values of brotherhood and moral uprightness. Join us as we explore how their Masonic virtues influenced their leadership and how their contributions continue to inspire generations.

Brother Sammy Lee Davis, 33°

Headshot of Sammy Lee Davis in an army jacket with medals and patches
Illustrious Brother Sammy Lee Davis, 33°, is a recipient of the Medal of Honor and Daniel Tompkins Medal.

Brother Sammy Lee Davis, 33°, is known for his courageous acts during the Vietnam War when his unit fell under heavy attack by Vietnam. Brother Davis was wounded during the fight, sustaining a broken back, which he ignored so he could cross a river and rescue three wounded American soldiers. For his heroism, he earned a Medal of Honor from President Lyndon B. Johnson.

The Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite, NMJ also conferred The Daniel D. Tompkins Medal on Illustrious Brother Davis for outstanding and exemplary service to his country and the Masonic fraternity at large. Not only that, but the Scottish Rite also named its second-ever veterans' recognition in his honor: The Sammy Lee Davis Peace & Freedom Service Recognition.

Brother Enoch O’Dell “Woody” Woodhouse II, 32°

A man in sunglasses and a pilot uniform sitting in the front of a plane
Brother Enoch O’Dell Woodhouse II, 32°

Brother Enoch Woodhouse, 32°, is the embodiment of Devotion to Country. As soon as the United States was attacked at Pearl Harbor, he enlisted to defend our nation despite growing up in a racially divided time. Of his decision to defend America he said, “You fought for your country in the hopes that a better America would emerge on the other side.”

Brother Woodhouse served in the U.S. Army Air Corps, the precursor to the U.S. Air Force, as a member of the now-legendary Tuskegee Airmen, becoming a lieutenant of the all-Black 99th Pursuit Squadron at just 19 years old. Brother Woodhouse is a recipient of the Daniel D. Tompkins Award for Distinguished Service and a member of the Valley of Boston.

Brother John Archer Lejeune

Maj. Gen. John A. LeJeune in uniform
Bro. Lejeune was raised a Master Mason while serving during World War I as a member of Overseas Lodge No. 1.

Brother John Lejeune was an ardent Freemason with a decorated tenure in the armed forces. He served as commander of the U.S. Army 2nd Division, major general commandant of the Marine Corps, and fought in both the Spanish-American War and World War I. Known as the “Marine’s Marine,” Brother Lejeune received dozens of awards and accolades, including the French Legion of Honor, a Distinguished Service Medal for both Army and Navy service, and a World War I Victory Medal. He became a Mason while serving in Coblenz, Germany, and joined the Scottish Rite and Shriners International in Washington, D.C. after returning from overseas. Recognized as an extraordinary Mason, fellow Freemasons in Quantico, Virginia, formed Lejeune Lodge No. 350 in 1925 in his honor.

Brother Douglas MacArthur, 32°

General Douglas MacArthur
Freemason and General Douglas MacArthur

Brother Douglas MacArthur, 32°, was one of the only men to achieve a five-star rank and was General of the U.S. Army, which is fitting for a man who spent his entire life in a military family. Early in his career, he served as Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy. Later, his service included the Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in the Southwest Pacific Area during World War II and postwar Japan during the Allied occupation. For his contributions, he was nominated for the Medal of Honor three times. Brother MacArthur was made a Mason "at sight" by the Grand Master of the Philippines and later became a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Freemason.

Brother James “Jimmy” Doolittle, 33°

James H. Doolittle poses for a portrait photo
James Doolittle was a military general, aviation pioneer, and Medal of Honor recipient.

Brother Jimmy Doolittle, 33°, was a pioneer in aeronautics, earning himself a reputation as one of the greatest pilots to ever live. He earned a doctorate in aeronautical engineering, the first-ever issued in the United States, and served our nation in active duty for nearly 50 years.

During World War II, he led a courageous raid over the Japanese mainland in 1942. This mission has been depicted numerous times in films, including in the well-known movie, “Pearl Harbor.” Brother Doolittle became a Master Mason on August 16th, 1918, in Lake Charles Lodge No. 16. in Louisiana. He remained in the fraternity throughout his life and later became a Shriner and joined the Scottish Rite, ultimately coroneted a 33° degree.

Brother Leonard “Bud” Lomell, 32°

Leonard Lomell, as a Second Lieutenant, in his dress uniform.
Bud Lomell, 2nd Ranger Battalion and Scottish Rite Freemason.

As a 24-year-old sergeant in the 2nd Ranger Battalion, Brother Leonard G. "Bud" Lomell’s courage during D-Day was pivotal to the entire war effort in Europe. In the first hours of that fateful date in Normandy, France, Brother Lomell nearly single-handedly disabled five 155-millimeter German guns that threatened the thousands of troops landing on the beaches.

Following the war, Brother Lomell became a Master Mason in Durand Lodge No. 179 in Point Pleasant, NJ, and later joined the Scottish Rite, NMJ and was a member of the Valley of Central Jersey. In 2013, the Scottish Rite, NMJ posthumously awarded Lomell the Daniel D. Tompkins Award for Distinguished Service.

Brother Winston Churchill

Lieutenant Winston Churchill of the 4th Queen's Own Hussars in military dress uniform
Sir Winston Churchill was a member of the British Army for over 30 years (1893-1924).

Sir Winston Churchill descended from a line of Masons and became one himself in 1901 when King Edward VII was serving as Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England.

Brother Churchill’s military career spanned decades, from his time as a second lieutenant in the 4th Queen's Own Hussars cavalry regiment through his tenure as First Lord of the Admiralty. He resigned from this latter post at the onset of World War I to serve in the army. Of course, Brother Churchill is best known for his steadfast leadership of England during the Second World War as Great Britain’s Prime Minister. His aggressive approach against the Nazis and ability to inspire Britain's people with moving speeches were instrumental in steering the Allies to victory.

Honoring our Masonic Heroes

As we reflect on the stories and achievements of these esteemed Masonic military leaders, we see a blend of courage, moral integrity, and an unwavering commitment to service that transcends the battlefield. Their legacies are also narratives of leadership, brotherhood, and steadfast adherence to the values that Freemasonry holds dear.

Let us carry forward the lessons learned from these remarkable men, cherishing their memory and drawing inspiration from their lives. They not only defended nations but also upheld the noble ideals of Freemasonry, demonstrating that true heroism is rooted in the strength of one's character and the depth of one's convictions.

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