Major Jim Tenpenny Leads Truman ROTC

Maj. Jim Tenpenny is the new head of Truman’s ROTC Program.

Tenpenny began his duties as professor of military science in June. He comes to Truman from Fort Hood, Texas, where he served as the Operations Officer for the 1st Cavalry Division’s Assault Helicopter Battalion. In April, Tenpenny completed a yearlong deployment to Iraq.

While on campus, Tenpenny will oversee Truman’s ROTC Program, which will be recognized later this year for producing the most commissioned officers to the National Guard for the state of Missouri.

Maj. Jim Tenpenny

“As the new guy coming in, I don’t want to change anything that has already made this the best program in Missouri,” Tenpenny said. “We want to keep it flowing smoothly and improve it as well.”

Tenpenny will also focus on showcasing the potential benefits the ROTC Program has for all students.

“ROTC is not just about the Army, it’s about teaching students to be leaders,” he said.

A member of the military since 1986, Tenpenny has occupied posts in Italy, Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan, where he served as aide to the commanding general, who is now the current U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan.  

Tenpenny’s military education includes the Aviation Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, the Combined Arms and Services Staff School and the Intermediate Level Education Course from the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. He was a Distinguished Military Graduate from Missouri Western State University in 1995 and recipient of the George C. Marshall ROTC Award. He earned a Master of Science in adult education from Kansas State University in 2008.  

Some of Tenpenny’s awards include the Bronze Star Medal (2 awards), the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (3 awards) and the Air Medal (2 awards). He is a Senior Army Aviator.  

A native of the Kansas City, Mo., area, Tenpenny and his wife Lora have two sons, Christopher, 15, and Matthew, 13.

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