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My Kentucky Colonel webpage.
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The highest honor awarded by the state of Kentucky is the Kentucky Colonel. The colonels are Kentucky's ambassadors of good will and fellowship around the world.

Commissions for Kentucky Colonels are awarded for contributions to the community, state, or nation and for special achievements of all kinds. Your commission as Kentucky Colonel has been awarded by the Governor for your service and accomplishments on behalf of your fellow man.

A list of Kentucky Colonels is a Who's Who of outstanding men and women around the world. The certificate, signed by the Governor and Secretary of State and bearing the Great Seal of Kentucky, has hung on the walls of such distinguished leaders as Lyndon B. Johnson and English Prime Minister Winston Churchill. America's first man in space, John Glenn, was commissioned while orbiting earth on his historic mission.

Entertainers such as the late Bing Crosby and Red Skelton were commissioned for their achievements.

It all began with the first Governor of Kentucky, Isaac Shelby, who gave his son-in-law, Charles S. Todd, the title of colonel of his staff. Shelby later issued commissions to all who enlisted in his regiment in the War of 1812. Later, Governors commissioned colonels to act as their protective guard; they wore uniforms and were present at most official functions.

The "Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels" was founded in 1932 by Governor Ruby Laffoon and has since been officially incorporated as a charitable organization. Over the years Colonels have contributed thousands of dollars to worthy causes. The order's formation was the idea of Charles Pettijohn, then chief counsel of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, who was appointed the first National Commanding General of the Order. This position included responsibility for the finances of the Order as well as it's highest rank. Anna Bell Ward was appointed Secretary and given the job of " organizing " the colonels.

The Governor and the Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky serve as the Commander-in-Chief and Deputy Commander-in-Chief respectively. All officers serve with no remuneration.

Once a year Kentucky Colonels from all over the world gather for a celebration of fellowship in the true spirit of Kentucky hospitality.

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