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Kentucky Colonel Program


The Kentucky Colonel Program is not directly linked to VA benefits. It is an honorary title bestowed upon individuals by the Governor of Kentucky, recognizing their notable achievements and contributions to society. The title of “Kentucky Colonel” is considered the highest honor awarded by the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Key Takeaways

  1. The Kentucky Colonel Program is a prestigious honorary title awarded by the Governor of Kentucky to individuals for their noteworthy accomplishments, contributions to society, or exceptional service to their community or state.
  2. Individuals who receive the Kentucky Colonel title are considered honorary colonels, and they become lifetime members of the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels. This organization works to promote and support charitable and educational causes within the state of Kentucky.
  3. Although being a Kentucky Colonel is not directly related to VA benefits or military service, veterans of the United States armed forces may be nominated for this honor based on their honorable service and contributions to their community, state, or country.


The Kentucky Colonel Program is important because it is a unique initiative that provides certain benefits and recognitions to veterans who have served in the U.S.

military, specifically those from Kentucky.

As a part of the VA benefits system, this program aims to honor the sacrifices made by service members and support their transition back into civilian life.

Acknowledging their service through formal recognition as a Kentucky Colonel, the program helps to maintain a strong connection between the veteran community and the state of Kentucky, while simultaneously reinforcing a sense of pride and gratitude for their selfless contributions to the nation.


The Kentucky Colonel Program is a prestigious title conferred upon individuals by the Governor of Kentucky in recognition of their noteworthy accomplishments, exceptional service, and contributions to the betterment of the local community and state. The primary purpose of this program is to celebrate and acknowledge outstanding citizens who significantly impact the lives of others through their philanthropic endeavors, public service, or selfless acts of kindness.

It is a unique way in which the people of Kentucky express gratitude and appreciation to those who make a difference and inspire others to follow their example. Recipients of the Kentucky Colonel commission are often considered ambassadors of goodwill and bearers of the state’s rich history and tradition of service.

The Kentucky Colonel Program also serves as an avenue to unite those who have been honored and enable them to continue offering their support to important causes within the Commonwealth of Kentucky. As a collective, these Kentucky Colonels work together on various charitable projects and fundraising initiatives that aim to enhance the quality of life for the state’s residents.

By leveraging their influence, expertise, and shared commitment, Kentucky Colonels are able to amplify their positive impact on society and deepen their engagement with communities. Overall, the Kentucky Colonel Program honors remarkable leaders and individuals, fostering a strong sense of unity and collaboration, ultimately promoting a greater good throughout the state.

Examples of Kentucky Colonel Program

The Kentucky Colonel Program is a program offered by the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs that helps eligible Kentucky veterans become a Kentucky Colonel. A Kentucky Colonel is an honorary title bestowed by the Governor of Kentucky and is the highest title of honor awarded by the state. While this program is not directly related to VA benefits, it serves as a form of recognition for veterans’ service. Here are three real-world examples of Kentucky Colonel recipients and events:

Colonel Charles Young:In 2019, President Donald Trump posthumously awarded the honorary title of Kentucky Colonel to Colonel Charles Young. Colonel Young was one of the first African Americans to graduate from West Point Military Academy and was the highest-ranking black officer in the United States military during his time. The Kentucky Colonel Program played a role in honoring his contributions to the country and recognizing his military service.

Riverboat Cruise for Kentucky Colonels:In 2018, the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs (KDVA) hosted an annual riverboat cruise for veterans in recognition of their service. The event allowed many honorees, new and old, to come together and celebrate the veterans’ shared experience of service and contribution. Some attendees of this event received the honorary title of Kentucky Colonel and were officially honored for their service through the Kentucky Colonels Program.

Assistance to Veterans Initiatives:While receiving the title of Kentucky Colonel is an honor, the commission itself, Kentucky Colonels, is a charitable organization that focuses on assisting various causes throughout the state. Among their initiatives is a focus on improving the lives of veterans. For example, they have provided financial assistance to the VA Medical Center in Louisville and the Radcliff Veterans Center. While the Kentucky Colonel Program itself does not assist financially, the larger organization plays an influential role in improving veterans’ lives in the state.

Kentucky Colonel Program FAQ

What is the Kentucky Colonel Program?

The Kentucky Colonel Program is a prestigious honorary title awarded by the Governor of Kentucky to individuals who have made significant contributions to their community, state, or nation. It is a symbolic recognition of an individual’s achievements and service.

Who can become a Kentucky Colonel?

Individuals who have demonstrated exceptional service, achieved great accomplishments, or contributed to their community, state, or nation may be eligible for nomination as a Kentucky Colonel. Nominations are typically submitted by current Kentucky Colonels or other notable individuals.

How do I become a Kentucky Colonel?

To become a Kentucky Colonel, you must be nominated by a current Kentucky Colonel, a state legislator, or another notable individual. Once the nomination is received, it is reviewed by the Governor’s office and, if approved, the nominee receives a commission as a Kentucky Colonel.

What benefits comes with being a Kentucky Colonel?

Being a Kentucky Colonel is an honorary title with no official privileges or responsibilities. However, it is a respected and prestigious designation that recognizes the individual’s achievements and service. The title may also open up networking opportunities with other Kentucky Colonels and events organized by the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels.

What is the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels?

The Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels is a non-profit, charitable organization comprised of Kentucky Colonels. The order supports various charitable causes within Kentucky and serves as a network of Kentucky Colonels, promoting fellowship and camaraderie among its members.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Kentucky Veterans Hall of Fame
  • Kentucky Military Family Assistance Program
  • Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Kentucky Veterans Marketing Program
  • Kentucky Veterans Cemetery Program

Sources for More Information