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Charles Siler Receives Leadership Award


Charles Siler receives a Leadership award from Mike Huckabee and University of the Cumberlands president Dr. Jim Taylor at UC’s 6th annual Leadership event on Tuesday, April 5.

Williamsburg, Ky. - Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee spoke to a crowded auditorium of 3,000 University of the Cumberlands (UC) students, staff and faculty, as well as friends from across the state of Kentucky, during the University’s 6th annual Forcht Group of Kentucky Center for Excellence in Leadership event on Tuesday, April 5. Held in the O. Wayne Rollins Center on UC’s campus, Huckabee’s speech, “Leadership in a Free and Strong America,” highlighted not only the economic crisis in America but the moral issues behind the problem and the moral solutions to work towards change.

The Center, that sponsors internationally renowned speakers recognized for their character and leadership, provides a keynote speaker yearly at UC to help raise the visibility of the University’s values.

At this year’s program UC honored eight individuals who have been instrumental in demonstrating exceptional leadership in a free and strong America. These individuals were chosen because they demonstrate the essentials of leadership not only in their business lives but in their personal lives as well.

Charles Siler was one of the honored guests to receive a Leadership in a Free and Strong America Award for his patriotism and drive for excellence to his family, community and nation and for serving as a role model to others by taking active steps in the development of a Free and Strong America.

Col. Siler entered the Army at age 17 and remained in service until his retirement in 1972, except for his studies at Cumberland College in 1949-1950.

In 1952, he graduated from Officers Candidate School and earned a commission in the Infantry and later served as a rifle company commander in Korea. After numerous cold war assignments, he progressed to the rank of lieutenant colonel and served as a deputy brigade commander in Vietnam. His decorations include two awards of the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Star for Valor, Army Commendation Medal, Combat Infantry Badge and Master Paratrooper Wings. In September 1998, Siler was inducted into the Infantry OCS Hall of Fame.

Upon retirement, Col. Siler served three terms on the Southern States Board of Directors, six years as chairman. He became a director of the Whitley County Farm Bureau and served as secretary/treasurer for five of the eight years. He was elected president for the Seventh Farm Bureau District, which includes Whitley and 10 other counties in South Central Kentucky. In 1981, he was named Southern Kentucky’s delegate on the Burley Farmers Advisory Council.

In 1984, he successfully ran for state representative. During his three terms he became chairman of the 5th Congressional District Republican Caucus. In 1995, he returned to the General Assembly where he represented Whitley and South Laurel Counties. He retired Dec. 31, 2010.

Siler and his wife, Dorthalene, were married in July 1949 and have three children, six grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.