Area resident Col. Ron Tucker is the area coordinator and director of Army instruction for Hillsborough County Public Schools.

FishHawk resident retired Col. Ron Tucker was appointed to his new role as director and area coordinator of Army instruction in November of 2022. Through his new position, he works to support Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) programs from Hillsborough County to Orlando to the northern border of Florida.

Under his two titles, he oversees 28 schools as the director of Army instruction and 32 as the one of three area coordinators for the state. He supports personnel, equipment, training and other resources for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corp JROTC high school programs.

“I truly believe I can make a difference by making JROTC instructors’ jobs easier and increase leadership opportunities for high school JROTC cadets,” Tucker said.

Tucker said the most rewarding part of his job is ensuring every JROTC cadet in his area feels a sense of responsibility to their families, schools and communities. His own service to the country began when he entered the military in 1982.

Tucker served 35 years in the Army, moving up the ranks from private to sergeant to second lieutenant to full bird colonel. During his service, in Operation Urgent Fury with the U.S. Army’s 1st Ranger Battalion, he conducted a low-level combat jump onto the island of Grenada, which he said was an honor. He was a battalion commander in Kansas City, Missouri and a military science professor at the University of Kansas and Southern Illinois University.

Before accepting the role as director and area coordinator of Army instruction, he served as the senior Army instructor for six years.

He has lived in FishHawk for 10 years with his wife and four children. While he is not working, he continues to serve his country through community service and enjoys ultra running and mountain biking in his free time.

“The mission of JROTC is to motivate young people to be better citizens,” he said. “I have enjoyed every year watching these young students become young adults and leaders in their community. They are the future leaders of America.”

For more information on a Hillsborough County Public School JROTC program, visit or check with your area high school.

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Lily Belcher is a writer for the Osprey Observer. She started as an intern in the summer of 2020 and has continued to write for the Osprey Observer since completing her internship. Lily is majoring in mass communications at the University of South Florida and is a staff writer for the university’s paper, The Oracle. She enjoys writing about local nonprofit organizations and community role models who have made an impact on her hometown.