Campaign links: Jerome Tilghman (D-TX-16)
Jerome Tilghman Congressional Candidate Texas District 16
Biography of Jerome Tilghman from Jerome Tilghman for U.S. Congress
Born to Cyprian and Cecilia Tilghman, Jerome is the 12th of 13 children. Commissioned a second lieutenant in May, 1973, I was initially assigned to the 101st Airborne Division as a rifle platoon leader. After departing Fort Campbell, KY –where I served under Colin Powell — I went to Fort Benning and every combat arms training class the post had to offer. A Canyon Hills PTA president for two terms, Carolyn and I raised two sons who are products of the public education system here. Distinguished graduates from Irvin High School (1996-98 respectively), they both chose to pursue post secondary education. It was never a matter of “if or when” they were going to college; it was only a matter of “where.”
Jonathan is a 2000 graduate from Rice University while Notre Dame chose Jeffrey — who graduated in 2002. Though, regretfully, their mother and I are no longer together — our sons are two links in a short chain that will always keep us connected. We are both very proud of them. I have long since been a champion for those in public education, and have little sympathy for anyone who condemns, criticizes and complains about a system, yet does little to support it. Our teachers are combat soldiers on the batlefield fighting ignorance and economic stagnation. It is a war that we must wage and can ill-afford to lose. They do a job that few will do, but many depend upon. They deserve our total respect and never-ending support. I have joined that army. The economic, social and political future of this community and this country is in the classroom — today. In some capacity, we need to be in there with them.
Before coming to El Paso, I was selected to command three times in my 21-year career — at the Infantry School, Fort Benning, GA; in the Second Infantry Division, South Korea, & with the Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg. The largest portion of my career dealt with strategic intelligence gathering and training Special Forces soldiers. Assigned to the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment as the Adjutant for the 62nd Colonel and 5000 soldiers, I was sent to my last combat tour in the first Gulf War as an Operations Planner with XVIIIth Airborne Corps.
Shortly afterwards, I retired and stayed. Today, El Paso is the place where I made a living and made my home. The El Paso Federation of Teachers & Support Personnel “Zero Tolerance for Violence on Campuses” was my first “plunge” into public service.
While in service overseas, I was once assigned as the Director of Personnel and Community Activities — responsible for the health, welfare, Department of Defense School System and a myriad of social services for a military community — largely Hispanic — exceeding 90,000 sodiers, retirees, family members and civilians. A graduate of the Army’s Command and General Staff College, I was also blessed with the opportunity — while in service — to complete two Masters Degrees; one in Public Administration and Urban Planning and a second in Human Resources Development.
I tried my hand at insurance and securities sales and investment planning. While with the Mutual of New York, I was later selected as the Director of Development and Membership Services with the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce. In my second year there, we achieved a single-year-best-record in overall revenue growth and development in the Chamber’s 100-year history. A former columnist with the El Paso Times and Herald Post, I have hosted TV and radio for 9 years.
Public service remains in my blood over these many years. Former Governor and President George W Bush convened a panel of citizens throughout the state to discuss means and methods to arrest and eliminate teen violence throughout the state. When he came to El Paso, among those he sought, he came to Jerome Tilghman. When [then] Governor Ann Richards moved to combat teenage pregnancy throughout the state, she called El Paso. Among others, El Paso sent Jerome Tilghman to her conference and the Governor’s Mansion. The late Congresswoman Barbara Jordan convened the Commission on Immigration Reform. Congressman Silvestre Reyes selected Jerome Tilghman to testify on behalf of the El Paso Sector. A graduate of Leadership – El Paso, Class XVI and the Border Patrol’s Citizen’s Academy, I am a coalition builder and have represented the interest, direction and destiny of large numbers of people all of my adult life. I am trained, experienced, educated and ready to do it again. !