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Tongate Named to KCVS Advisory Council

Kentucky Center for Veterans Studies at EKU logo

The Kentucky Center for Veterans Studies Advisory Council provides guidance and subject-matter expertise to define the mission and advance the goals of KCVS. We are honored to welcome James R. Tongate to our team.

James R. Tongate

James R. Tongate

James R. Tongate

Previously, James R. Tongate served as Marsh McLennan Companies’ senior HR military affairs program leader where he created, executed, led and cultivated an unprecedented diverse military veteran talent program. Tongate strategically leveraged key stakeholders, human resource functions, technology, and processes relating to the design, implementation and integration of diverse human capital dogmas through business actions. He is considered a national subject matter expert in the veteran talent space through consult and engagement in several national panels/forums including the Veteran Jobs Mission, the American Legion and at Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) sponsored events.

Prior to Marsh McLennan Companies, Tongate served at Humana over 17 years as a successful business leader in various functions to include the HR program leader for Humana’s Veteran and Military Spouse Hiring Program. He solidified the national award-winning program through sourcing, innovation and implementation of outreach strategies recruiting national guard, reservists, military retirees, Wounded Warriors, transitioning veterans and military spouses. Tongate’s efforts were crucial to Humana being recognized as a Top 100 Military Friendly® Employer in the U.S.

Tongate also proudly serves as the tenth State Command Chief Master Sergeant for the Kentucky National Guard. Chief Tongate is the key advisor to Kentucky’s adjutant general and his staff on all matters influencing mission readiness, training, promotion, retention, professional development, utilization, health, morale, welfare and assignment policy affecting the entire enlisted Airmen and their families.

Prior to this role, Tongate served as the human resource advisor and was a C-130H tactical loadmaster with three combat tours to Afghanistan, along with many other global operations earning him four commendation medals. Tongate began his service in 1986–1991 with the active-duty US Air Force, then served in the KY Army National Guard as a military intelligence analyst before transferring into the KY Air National Guard in December 1997 where he remains today.

Tongate has been married over 24 years with three adult children and two grandchildren.