James H. Bledsoe
James H. Bledsoe entered CMA in February 1945 and graduated as a member of the Class of 1950. He entered the U.S. Army as an enlisted man in February 1957. His abilities were quickly recognized and he entered Officer's Candidate School and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant of Infantry in September.

While commissioned as a Lieutenant of Infantry, he later served with the United States Army Special Forces serving with such organizations as the 1st, 3rd and 9th Infantry Divisions, the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) and the XVIII Airborne Corps. Additionally, he was selected to perform instructor duties at the United States Army Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia, the Canadian Combat Arms School and the Armed Forces College.

He served his country proudly during three separate tours of duty in Vietnam between 1964 and 1971. These tours included serving with the 1st Special Forces Group in 1964, the 9th Infantry Division in 1966-67 and the I Corps in 1970-71. In addition to his tours of duty in Vietnam, he served additional time overseas with the 1st Special Forces Group in Okinawa and as an exchange officer with the Canadian Armed Forces at Camp Gagetown, New Brunswick.

His numerous awards and decorations include the Combat Infantryman's Badge, the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, three Bronze Stars (two of which were for Valor), the Air Medal for Valor and the Purple Heart. He also earned the American, Vietnamese and Canadian Parachute badges, the Special Forces tab and was inducted into the Infantry Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame. He retired from the Army in 1988 as a Colonel after 32 years of service to his country.

His service to his country did not end with his military duty. He received special individual recognition in three states, being recognized as a Kentucky Colonel and serving as Aide-de-Camp to Governors of both Alabama and Tennessee. Colonel Jim's devotion and dedication to CMA were demonstrated while he served as the President of the Columbia Military Academy Alumni Association from 1990 to 1994. He was instrumental in the association obtaining and restoring CMA's cannon and caisson and in the preservation and presentation of CMA memorabilia. He continued to serve the association when his time as President was up and remains an active member of the CMA Alumni Association. Colonel Jim's actions as a cadet, soldier, citizen and CMA alumnus reflect highly on his character and his love for his school and his country.