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Leading Through Black Excellence by APSU: Lt. Gen. Ronald Bailey


Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – Lt. Gen Ronald Bailey (retired) serves as the vice president for external affairs at Austin Peay State University (APSU). He oversees the University’s offices of advancement, communication and strategic initiatives. Prior to joining the Austin Peay State University senior leadership team, he was the deputy commandant for Plans, Policies and Operations for the U.S. Marine Corps.

Retired Lt. General Ronald Bailey

Retired Lt. General Ronald Bailey

While a student at APSU, Bailey played football for the Governors and participated in the school’s ROTC program. In 1977, shortly after he graduated with his Bachelor of Science degree in biology, Bailey was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps.

During his impressive, 40-year career, Bailey oversaw the Marine Corps Recruiting Command, and he served as commanding general of the First Marine Division, as commanding general of the Third Marine Expeditionary Brigade and as deputy director for operations of the Joint Staff.

He was also a Military National Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Bailey was quoted as saying, “…leadership is about influence and relationships – relationships with the American people.

Our nation’s citizens expect us to be America’s expeditionary force in readiness committed to their protection at home and abroad; we will honor that expectation with the professional and empathetic execution of our mission within their communities nationwide.” 

Bailey recently was honored by his former hometown, West Augustine, Florida, with a historical marker and ceremony recognizing his career. 

“Don’t let anyone define you,” he said. “You define who you’re going to be and what you’re going to do.”

Bailey earned graduate degrees from Webster University and the National War College, and his awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal with bronze oak leaf, Legion of Merit with combat V, Meritorious Service Medal with two gold stars, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with gold star, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Presidential Unit Citation and the Combat Action Ribbon. He is also a Life Member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.

We salute you retired Lt. Gen Ronald Bailey for your commitment to the university and service to our country.

– APSU African American Employee Council


Leading Through Black Excellence is a new Black History Month series, presented by the Austin Peay State University African American Employee Council. Throughout February, we will highlight examples of “Leading Through Black Excellence,” both on and off our campus. Individuals and organizations were nominated, and we are pleased to share their incredible stories through this new venture. For more information, please visit our website,




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