How to Become a Colonel

How does one become a Kentucky Colonel?

The Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels does not appoint or commission Kentucky Colonels. That can only be done by the sitting Governor of the Commonwealth. Only the Governor knows the reason for bestowing the honor of a Colonel’s Commission on any particular individual. One recent Governor made this comment about the qualities he considered, “Each time I have the pleasure of bestowing a membership to this exceptional organization on an individual, the great tradition established by Kentucky’s first governor, Isaac Shelby, lives on. The name Kentucky Colonel has become synonymous with strength of character, leadership and dedication to the welfare of others. Just as Isaac Shelby declared his trusted militia members to be his Kentucky Colonels, I see in you those things that place others above self.”

To obtain a Kentucky Colonel Commission, a nomination must be submitted to the Governor.  The nominee must also be 18 years old. To nominate an individual please complete the Kentucky Colonel Commission Application. Further information can be obtained by contacting the Governor’s Office in Frankfort. The address is Attention: Lori Farris, Director of Constituent Services, Room 133, Governor’s Office, State Capitol, Frankfort, KY 40601. Or email her at


The Kentucky Colonels is an independent, nonprofit organization with the purpose of aiding and promoting nonprofits in the Commonwealth and its citizens. Membership is open to anyone who has been commissioned as a Kentucky Colonel. We hope everyone will consider himself or herself a friend of the Kentucky Colonels.