Lt. Gen. Ronald Hite is currently the president and CEO of Cypress International. The Alexandria, Va., based company assists clients in "planning, business development and marketing of defense and aerospace products and services worldwide."
The Washington County, Tenn., native began his career as a member of the East Tennessee State University Class of 1964, and was a Distinguished Military Graduate with a degree in chemistry. He later earned a master's degree in management science from the Florida Institute of Technology.
After receiving his commission at ETSU, the early days of his military career took him to Germany and Vietnam. Later, he served as commander of a maintenance battalion at Ford Ord, Calif.; cofounder and instructor of the Combined Arms Staff Services School in Fort Leavenworth, Kan.; first Commander of United States Army Combat Systems Test Activity at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland; Officer in Charge of the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle and Abrams Tank Live Fire Test Programs; and Deputy Commanding General with the United States Army Test and Evaluation Command, also at Aberdeen Proving Ground.
Among his accomplishments are his involvement in the development of the HUMMER military vehicle and several major weapons systems. He was the principal senior Army military acquisition official providing testimony before the House and Senate defense committees.
By the time he retired from the military in 1997 after 33 years of service, he had been awarded two Distinguished Service Medals, four Legions of Merit, three Meritorious Service Medals, paratrooper wings, and the Ranger Tab.
A recipient of the ETSU Distinguished Alumni in the Armed Forces award in 1989, he returned to campus in 1999 as a participant in the Alumni Speakers Series, and he serves on the ETSU National Alumni Association board.
Hite and his wife, Millie, are the parents of daughters Mia, mother of their three grandchildren, and Tifani, who received a bachelor's degree from ETSU in 2001, followed by a master's degree in psychology in May 2003.