STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Kenny Weldon has been named dean of Tarleton State University’s new Leadership and Military College, effective immediately, and will continue his role as Commandant of the Texan Corps of Cadets. The college results from the rapid growth of the corps, reinstated in 2016, as a leadership development program.
The number of cadets has almost doubled over the past four years to 120 strong. The corps was originally founded in 1917, when Tarleton became founding member of The Texas A&M University System.
Part student military organization and part leadership training enterprise, including a minor in leadership studies, the Texan Corps of Cadets is the nation’s only such group not associated with a senior military college. And Tarleton is the only four-year university in the U.S. to implement a military college with a corps of cadets.
"Establishing a Leadership and Military College is the right thing to do for our students and for our country," said university President James Hurley. "Regardless of the path they choose, our cadets leave Tarleton prepared to serve as effective, successful front-runners in a world where commitment, perseverance and teamwork make all the difference."
Weldon deserves his added role as dean, Hurley said. Tapped in 2016 as commandant, he has played a significant role in re-establishing and growing the Texan Corps of Cadets.
A Stephenville native, Weldon retired in 2011 after 26 years in the Air Force. While on active duty, he served as a civil engineer officer and led organizations at the installation, military department and Secretary of Defense levels. His military decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal and Legion of Merit.
He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, with a bachelor’s in civil engineering. He also holds a master’s in engineering and environmental management as well as a master’s in national security strategy from the National Defense University in Washington, D.C.