Kentucky Colonels International

Kentucky's Goodwill Ambassadors

Protagonists of Culture, Customs, and Tradition

Kentucky Colonel

Kentucky Colonel is the highest title of honor bestowed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Commissions for Kentucky colonels are given by the governor and the secretary of state to individuals in recognition of noteworthy accomplishments, contributions, and outstanding service to community, state, or the nation.

The Governor of Kentucky bestows the honor of a colonel's commission, through the issuance of letters patent. The commission is a legal act of the Office of the Governor and lifetime appointment.

Our Organization

Kentucky Colonels International is now a non-governmental, non-profit fraternal and mutual benefit membership organization. We are incorporated in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and in "good standing" with the Office of the Secretary of State.

Formerly developed as an unincorporated fraternal association in October of 1998; in January of 2020 our formation advanced to become an international civil society organization and cooperative membership association organized and established under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, the US Code, and the Revised Statutes of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Illustration of the Kentucky Coat of Arms from 1876
Historic representation of the Kentucky Coat of Arms (c. 1876). State motto, "United We Stand, Divided We Fall"

About Us

Kentucky Colonels International, also known as the (Kentucky Colonel Foundation) was originally established in 1998 to give prominence to the Kentucky Colonel Commission as a meritory award with diplomatic credence that is respected and understood internationally. Our concept is the formation of a membership development program based on a fellowship. The organization is open to all those who have received the prestigious honorary title from the Governor of the Commonwealth in service as his 'aide-in-camp' which designates them officially as a goodwill ambassador for the state with letters patent (which is a legal document) resulting in a lifetime commission.

Kentucky colonels serve both the state and the acting governor directly without regard to political party, race, gender, civil status, or religion.

As goodwill ambassadors, Kentucky colonels are dedicated to community service, contributing to the welfare of the state, and improving the lives of others to make the world a better and safer place for everyone. Today there are more than 100,000 Kentucky colonels living in 70 countries and more than 12 organizations that have been formed since the turn of the 21st century. Their official (optional) responsibilities include promoting tourism, economic development, participation in community service, and fostering the general prosperity of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and its citizens.

Our Website

Our website is currently under development, the organization is requesting that members provide photos, news, videos, and other relevant information to make improvements for our online formation. As an organization, we will present a number of stated objectives, goals, and purposes herein which can be viewed publicly and transparently.

Kentucky Colonels International is not a secret society, our development online is to promote members as public figures, community leaders, and goodwill ambassadors that are well-respected, fair, and trustworthy ladies and gentlemen from all walks of life that have been recognized with the honor and virtue of becoming a Kentucky colonel.

We are planning on providing biographical services, news distribution and social media content on the behalf of our members using the website and a social media app that is in the works.

The Order

Being admitted to the Order of the Kentucky Colonel represents that the award recipient has made a noteworthy contribution to society, performed a great deed, accomplished a remarkable personal achievement, or has been recognized for outstanding service to their community. Kentucky colonels are recognized and commissioned for their lifetime to the order with letters patent which permits them to perform and take actions as a commissioned civilian officer of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.


In-deed the award is the highest form of recognition bestowed to individuals by the Commonwealth of Kentucky. It can only be granted by the Governor or the Secretary of State based upon being nominated by another Kentucky colonel or being recognized individually by the state's governor for a noteworthy act that commands the governor's attention. Historically there have been cases where the governor has recognized noteworthy individuals as Kentucky colonels based on formal written suggestions by citizens and officials of the Commonwealth.


Membership to our non-governmental organization is voluntary and open to all Kentucky colonels around the world that have duly earned the distinguished honor to be part of our fellowship. Members of our organization are encouraged to provide information relative to their status and participate in programs to further their abilities and prominence as honorable ladies and gentlemen serving as the state's goodwill ambassadors. The organization supports the ideals of transparency, hospitality, integrity, respect, honor, and tradition among its members.

Member Services

The organization provides online digital services to its members in the form of personal identification, a vanity email address, biographical websites, an online membership roster, and an electronic smartphone app (under development in 2020). Other ideas and suggestions are being discussed and based on our organization acquiring funding for development.

Since 2006 the organization has been active providing administrative and moderation services online in the social media with the first Facebook groups and fan page dedicated to promoting the development of fraternity, fellowship, and the sharing of news content for Kentucky colonels.

International Title Registry

All those who have received a commission may voluntarily become additionally recognized in the International Title Registry (formerly KCI Registry), an ideal originally introduced by our organization, which recognizes all American and international meritory awards of honor and merit from around the world. The combined program is scheduled to be online the middle of 2020.

The International Title Registry will be operated by the Goodwill Ambassador Foundation.




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Kentucky Colonels International (Kentucky Colonel Foundation) is not directly associated or affiliated with private charity, The Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, Inc. (HOKC). The HOKC is a non-profit charitable organization located in Louisville, Kentucky that provides assistance in the form of gifts to non-profit organizations and educational institutions in the State of Kentucky. The organization does not have any members nor provide membership benefits according to their Restated and Amended Articles of Incorporation that were filed in 1992.. The organization recognizes its donors as honorary members, it does not offer legal membership that is consistent with the Model Nonprofit Act or US law, or allow its members a vote or say in the operation of the organization.