McMichael Receives Knight Commander’s Accolade
During the Beta Chapter/Commission 150th Anniversary Brunch at the Kappa Alpha Order National Administrative Office at Mulberry Hill on Saturday, October 3, 2018, Knight Commander Darren S. Kay bestowed the Knight Commander’s Accolade upon SGM E. Kent McMichael (Beta Commission–VMI ’95).
The Knight Commander’s Accolade is the highest individual honor an alumnus can receive, bestowed in the sole discretion of the Knight Commander. Over fifty-two years, fourteen Knight Commanders have conferred this high honor on just two hundred and thirty-two recipients for their excellence in leadership and service to the Order.
Kent holds a Bachelor of Science in History from Northwestern State University in Louisiana. There, he affiliated with a local fraternity that would become the Gamma Psi Chapter of Kappa Alpha Order. Additionally, he has a Master of Science in History from Baylor University, specifically American Military History from 1866 to 1916.
Kent served on active duty in the U.S. Army for more than 33 years, 19 of which were overseas, including two years in combat zones. He served with the Long Range Recon Patrol (LRRP), small, heavily armed long-range reconnaissance teams that patrol deep in enemy-held territory, often by parachuting, in Germany, Laos, and Cuba. Kent holds a total of 8 decorations, 19 awards, plus Combat Infantry Badge with Second Award, Ranger Tab, Senior Airborne Wings with 577 jumps, Army Staff Badge and Drill Sergeant Badge.
Kent was the First Sergeant with the 3rd United States Infantry Regiment, identified by its nickname, “The Old Guard.” Their most recognizable duty is to conduct memorial affairs and guard The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. Other stations included service with NATO in Turkey and teaching ROTC as Sergeant Major of the Corp at Virginia Military Institute. After retirement from the Army in 1993, he was the Director of Museums at the George C. Marshall Foundation and was owner and operator of the Lexington Carriage Company for nearly 10 years.
Kent was initiated at the 66th Convention in 1995, becoming a member of the Order and the Beta Commission. In 2002, Kent was appointed as the Order’s fourth Archivist. Additionally, he has led and overseen the building and grounds operations of the National Administrative Office at both the Rockbridge County Jail, and, beginning in 2004, at Mulberry Hill. He has been involved with the Order’s Commission System at VMI, Citadel, USMA, USNA, and USAFA. Kent has been inducted into the Ammen, Hamilton, Smith, and Wood Province Courts of Honor. He is a charter member of the Military Division of Kappa Alpha Order, a member of the Loyal Order and the 1865 Trust, and has been a member of the Kappa Alpha Order Educational Foundation’s Crimson & Gold Society since 2014.
Since 1991, Kent has been an active member of the Lexington Rotary Club and has served as the club’s president. Kent is married to his wife Betty and has two children, Josh and Monya, and two grandchildren, Taylor and Hunter.