Colonel Tedsan S Timberlake

Few figures in Kemper’s history were as recognizable and respected as was Colonel Tedsan S Timberlake. Timberlake was assigned to head Kemper’s ROTC department as the Professor of Military Science in August of 1957. Upon retirement from active duty in 1961 he accepted the position of Commandant of Cadets. It was in this position that he endeared himself to thousands of young men.

Born in Coblentz, Germany where his father was serving with the US Army as a Brigadier General, Colonel Timberlake later entered Greenbrier Military School in Lewisburg, West Virginia. Colonel Timberlake entered active service as a second lieutenant in January 1943 after attending the United States Military Academy preparatory school at Fort Sheridan, Illinois, and the Air Force officer candidate school. He attained the rank of major in 1956.

During WWII, Colonel Timberlake served in combat in the European theater from February 1944 to November 1945. He commanded the 118th Regiment, 30th Infantry Division. Colonel Timberlake has two combat parachute jumps. In 1955 he was assigned as the CO of the 11th Airborne Recon Co and later, as the Aide-de-camp to the Commanding General of the Third Army. He was subsequently assigned as the airborne liaison officer to Argentina and finally to Kemper in 1957.

Colonel Timberlake speaks several languages fluently and has been decorated with the Silver Star, Bronze Star for gallantry, Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Man’s Badge w/star, Master Parachutist, Air Medal, Glider Badge, among other awards. It was confirmed that Colonel Tedsan S Timberlake was the youngest First Sergeant ever to hold that rank in the history of the US Army.

Every cadet attending Kemper during the time Colonel Timberlake was Commandant of Cadets can vividly recall his emotional and moving exhortations to "Be Your Best". He instilled pride where none existed, built loyalty where there was mistrust, and created a winning spirit of excellence in every cadet he dealt with. No one who ever received a return hand salute from Colonel Timberlake got only the customary "good morning" or "good afternoon", it was always personal and uplifting – "GO BIG TEAM! YOU’RE LOOKING TALL!"