15:29 PM

Ky. Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton Gets Surprise Promotion at CAP Exhibit Opening

Kentucky Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton thought she was only presiding over the unveiling of a new exhibit in Frankfort commemorating the history and significance of Civil Air Patrol. 

A veteran of the U.S. Air Force and a member of the Kentucky Military Hall of Fame, Hampton joined CAP in December 2014, after the commander of the Kentucky Wing’s Bowling Green Senior Squadron invited her to be the unit’s public affairs officer.

"I started to go through the training modules, had completed the first one successfully and was beginning the second, when Matt Bevin called me (to be his gubernatorial running mate) and completely ruined my plans," she said jokingly. 

The exhibit ceremony unveiled a combined effort of the Personnel Cabinet and CAP, with historical accounts of the organization's purpose, missions and heroes.

During the ceremony, however, Senior Master Sgt. Cory Felts, director of cadet programs for the Bowling Green squadron, arrived. "Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen," he said, "and welcome to the promotion ceremony for Maj. Jenean Hampton."

He continued, "The Civil Air Patrol national commander, acting upon the recommendation of the Great Lakes Region commander and Kentucky Wing commander, has placed special trust and confidence in the patriotism, integrity and qualities of Maj. Jenean Hampton. In view of these special qualities and her demonstrated potential to serve in the higher grade, Maj. Jenean Hampton is promoted to the grade of lieutenant colonel, Civil Air Patrol."

"I am so honored and certainly did not expect this!" Hampton said. "This is such a worthy organization. For those who get involved, it gives our young people the chance to get hands-on aviation experience, and to become familiar with the military. I am proud to be a part of it. And actually, I think I just surpassed my husband in rank!"

Founded in 1941 to mobilize the nation's civilian aviation resources for national defense service, CAP has evolved into a nonprofit organization that serves as the official civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. Its mission is to provide emergency services and disaster relief, and support aerospace education and cadet programs for youth.

The exhibit includes items provided by the Kentucky Aviation Museum, and the museum cases were provided by the Filson Historical Society. The exhibit will be on display at the State Office Building, 501 High St., in Frankfort through January.