Kentucky colonel

Kentucky colonel

Kentucky colonel is an honorary title bestowed upon individuals by approval of the governor of Kentucky. It is not a military rank, requires no duties, and carries with it no pay or compensation other than membership in the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels. Award of the title requires nomination from an existing colonel. Nominators are expected to consider the nominee's service and contributions to the global community before making a nomination. Applicants must be at least 18 years old. The sitting governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky bestows the honor of a Colonel's Commission, by issuance of a certificate.


The title Kentucky colonel has been around since 1813. [ Kentucky Colonels] Commonwealth of Kentucky, 21 April 2005. Retrieved 10 September 2006. ] When the Kentucky Militia was deactivated following the War of 1812, Governor Isaac Shelby commissioned Charles S. Todd, one of his officers in the campaign, as an aide-de-camp on the Governor's Staff with the rank and grade of Colonel. Todd married Shelby's youngest daughter two years later.

Early colonels actually served military roles. In the latter part of the 1800s, the position took on a more ceremonial function. Colonels in uniform attended functions at the Governor's mansion and stood as symbolic guards at state events. By the late 1800s, the title had become more of an honorary one.

Good works

After a person receives a commission they are invited to join the "The Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels". This organization is an independent, non-profit corporation. The mission of this organization is to raise money to support needy charities, educational efforts, and other works that will help all citizens of Kentucky. The organization's good works do not stop at the borders of the Commonwealth. Recently the organization supported Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, partnering with another organization and contributing $25,000. [ [ Kentucky Colonels Pledge $25,000 To Disaster Relief] Brenda Rick Smith, KBC Communications, 9 January 2005. Retrieved 10 September 2006. ]

A particularly embarrassing incident for the order occurred in the early 1980s when Kentucky journalist Tom Loftus submitted a nomination to the order for his friend's dog Waldo. [ [ Canine colonel tale won't go away] Cincinnati Post, 19 December 2002. Retrieved 10 September 2006. ] When Waldo Wecker was accepted into the order, the story received nationwide attention and became a source of amusement on national shows such as "Good Morning America" and Paul Harvey's radio program. Governor John Y. Brown, Jr., who signed the document granting the honor, received particular ridicule. Both Waldo and Loftus were stripped of the title.

Notable colonels

Some of the more famous recipients include:
* Muhammed Ali, professional boxercite web |url= |title=Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels FAQ |accessdate=2007-09-05]
* Fred Astaire, entertainercite web |url= |title=Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels Good Works |accessdate=2007-09-05]
* Omar Bradley, General of the Army (United States)cite web |url= |title=Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels Timeline |accessdate=2007-09-05]
* Eddie Cantor, entertainer
* Winston Churchill, prime minister of the United Kingdomcite web |url= |title=Kentucky Secretary of State - Kentucky Colonels |accessdate=2007-09-05]
* Bill Clinton, U.S. president
* Joan Crawford, actress
* Stephen Foster, composer (awarded posthumously)
* Clark Gable, actor
* John Glenn, astronaut, U.S. senator
* Bob Hope, entertainer
* Pope John Paul II
* Lyndon B. Johnson, U.S. president
* Ashley Judd, actress, activist
* Gene Markey, Hollywood screenwriter, producer, author, and U.S. Navy officer
* Irving Mills, jazz music publisher
* Will Rogers, humorist
* Harland Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken (often referred to simply as "The Colonel")
* Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy's restaurant chain
* Hunter S. Thompson, author
* Mae West, actress and playwright



* Carl Edwin Lindgren. Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels (February/March 2001). "Il Mondo del Cavaliere", Vol. I, No. 1, p. 14. ISSN 1592 1425.

External links

* [ Official website of The Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels]
* [ Kentucky Secretary of State's site regarding the Order]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Kentucky colonel — Kentucky colonel, a person who is honored in Kentucky with the unofficial title of colonel …   Useful english dictionary

  • Kentucky Colonel — Earle Combs (baseball player) …   Eponyms, nicknames, and geographical games

  • Kentucky colonel (disambiguation) — Kentucky colonel may refer to:*Kentucky colonel an honorary title conferred by the governor of the U.S. state of Kentucky. Colonel Sanders is one among many to have held these titles. *Kentucky Colonels a team in the American Basketball… …   Wikipedia

  • Colonel (disambiguation) — Colonel is a military rank. Colonel or Colonels may also refer to one of the following: Colonel (title), is conferred as an honor by some States in the United States of America and certain units of the Canadian Armed Forces. Kentucky Colonel, a… …   Wikipedia

  • Colonel Sanders — Harland Colonel Sanders Born September 9, 1890 …   Wikipedia

  • Colonel (title) — The honorary title of Colonel is conferred by some states in the United States of America and certain units of the Canadian Forces. The origins of the titular colonelcy can be traced back to colonial and antebellum times when men of the landed… …   Wikipedia

  • Kentucky Colonels — NBA team color1 = white color2 = blue name = Kentucky Colonels imagesize = 50px conference = None division = Eastern Division founded = 1967 history = Kentucky Colonels 1967 1976 arena = Louisville Convention Center (1967 1970) Freedom Hall (1970 …   Wikipedia

  • Kentucky Colonels (ABA 2000) — This article is about the professional basketball team in the re launched American Basketball Association. For the 1967 1976 American Basketball Association team, see Kentucky Colonels. For other uses, see Kentucky colonel (disambiguation).… …   Wikipedia

  • Colonel (United States) — Main article: Colonel Insignia of the rank of colonel, as worn on the officer s right side (a mirror image version is worn on the left side, such that the eagle always faces forward; the left side version is also worn centered on fatigue caps,… …   Wikipedia

  • colonel — colonelcy, n. /kerr nl/, n. 1. an officer in the U.S. Army, Air Force, or Marine Corps ranking between lieutenant colonel and brigadier general: corresponding to a captain in the U.S. Navy. 2. a commissioned officer of similar rank in the armed… …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”