Milton F. McKenna is a native of Pawtucket, Rhode Island and is a 1962 graduate of Pawtucket West Senior High School. Milt was a stellar high school athlete earning six varsity letters in football, basketball and track. He served as President of the Student Council in his senior year. He entered the University of Rhode Island in 1964 and enrolled in the Army ROTC program for four years. During his senior year, he served as the Cadet Brigade Commander.
Upon graduation in 1968, Milt earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant of Infantry. He was selected as an ROTC Distinguished Graduate and was awarded the Parker D. Cramer Saber Award as the outstanding cadet graduate.
Throughout his 24-year career, LTC McKenna thrived in the most challenging and demanding training and operational assignments. As an Infantry officer, he served in numerous leadership positions to include Platoon Leader, 2/52 Mechanized Infantry Battalion at Ft Hood, Texas and 1st Brigade, 5th Infantry Division in Quang Tri, Vietnam. He was awarded the Bronze Star, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry and Combat Infantry Badge for his heroic service during his tour in Vietnam.
To capitalize on his tactical prowess and training expertise, LTC McKenna was selected to serve as a Basic Training Company Commander. Due to his exceptional performance, LTC McKenna was again selected for another leader development assignment as the Assistant Professor of Military Science at the University of Connecticut. During this period, the number of graduates commissioned doubled.
LTC McKenna next served as the Operations Officer of the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division. He was responsible for training readiness as well as the planning and execution of numerous world-wide deployments providing reinforcement forces for critical Pacific Theater Contingency Plans. From 1988-1991, LTC McKenna served as the Chief of Plans for Headquarters, United States Forces Japan, coordinating interoperability operations for US Forces and the Japan Self Defense Forces to include coordinating with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
LTC McKenna’s additional awards include Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service metal (3 awards), and the Defensive Meritorious Service Medal.
Following retirement from active duty in 1993, LTC McKenna continued to serve our nation and his community by applying his training and leadership development expertise for the Maryland State Department of Education as an Education Specialist responsible for coordinating, leading and managing new and innovative programs focused on the youth in the State of Maryland. Many of these schools have reduced discipline issues by more than 50 percent. Milt is known as the National Expert of this innovative and exciting program.
Additionally, LTC McKenna has a lifetime of commitment to supporting youth activities to include coaching youth activity soccer, basketball, softball, and baseball teams; officiating soccer, volleyball, softball and basketball leagues; and participating as a leader in many of those volunteer leagues. He is dedicated in supporting church ministry activities in the forms of lecturing at Catholic Masses, participating as an Extraordinary Minister of the Holy Eucharist, and leadership within the Knights of Columbus to include being the Grand Knight for the local council.
LTC McKenna and his wife Sharon reside in Jessup, Maryland.