Colonel Bruce Host - USAF (Retired) - Tallahassee, FL
Bruce Host’s leadership capability, management talents and purpose driven orientation, skills honed in the military, were immediately evident. Asked to head the faltering local festival,” Springtime Tallahassee”, he not only reorganized, but enlarged its scope bringing it into par with other prominent national festivals. During his tenure it became a month’s long umbrella association with multiple activities including a hugely successful and first ever for the area. Balloon Festival. This was recognized as a tremendous boon to local revenues.
During this time Bruce was also an active board member of a 3500 member homeowners association, Killearn Estates, on which he served for 10 years, many of those as President. In fact. Colonel Host served on multiple community boards over the years, most of them in a Chairmanship role: Civic Center board (brought ice hockey to the arena as well as the installation of “sky boxes”), the Visitor’s and Tourist Bureau (where he championed and financially supported the renovation of a premier community amenity (Goodwood Plantation), Innovation Park Board (bringing among, other clean industries, the Super Computer, National High Magnetic Field Laboratory and their associated companies).
Bruce was active in The Retired Officers Association, and with another retired military officer became co-founder, and then President, of the Killearn Kiwanis Club. Through his and efforts of the club members many children’s organizations were enriched not only by financial support but by the clubs personal involvement.
As an elected Leon County Commissioner, Colonel Host was able to affect many changes he had envisioned for the community. His stated goal was to bring parity of tax revenue to the Northeast in order to solve ongoing yet neglected problems; traffic congestion, accessibility to a library, flooding issues, need of neighborhood fire station, resolving property rights violations. Bruce set a plan of improvement in motion to enhance the gateway to the city, known as Gaines Street Corridor renovation. It has become not only a beautiful entrance and first impression of Tallahassee on the drive from the airport to the city but a zone of new economic development. In his 2 successive terms he was able to accomplish all of this and more.
Florida State University has benefited from his involvement as well. Personally, Colonel Host was a founding member of the University Club, a major enhancement to the viability and prestige of the football stadium. In his Commissioner role he was the Board’s strongest advocate for FSU’s progress. He facilitated the expansion plans of FSU by instigating the meetings between “town and gown” bringing elected officials together with the University President and his growth management team. As a result, roads were realigned, many new structures were built and the campus cohesiveness was accomplished in minimal time. He most recently served as an original committee member in the establishment of the Student Veteran’s Center at FSU credited with the University’s recognition as the nation’s premier student Veteran university.
The initiative that he is proudest of however is the Veterans’ Hall of Fame. He conceptualized, lobbied for and “chaired” the early years of this institution. The purpose he visualized was to highlight the value of a military experience in the transference of principles higher than one’s self from the military to the civilian world. The establishment could not have happened without the advocacy in the Legislature of Senator Mike Bennett and the enthusiasm and willingness of Bob Milligan to bring it under the umbrella of the Florida Veteran’s Affairs. The Veterans’ Hall of Fame serves not only to thank and recognize those who have continued “giving back” but to broaden public awareness of the character enriching aspect of military service.
- Class of 1953 Eagle Scout
- High School Ashland High School Ashland, KY 1958
- University of Nebraska at Omaha (Bootstrap) Omaha, NE Class of 1964, Degree: Bachelor of General Education, Major: Military Science
- George Washington University Washington, DC, Class of 1972, Degree: Master of Science Major: International Affairs
- Air Force Squadron Officer’s School 1962
- Industrial College of the Armed Forces 1971
- Naval Command and Staff College 1972
- National War College 1978
- Foreign Language Institute 1979
- Dintinguished Flying Cross
- Meritorious Service Medal, W/OLC
- Air Medal (6 Awards)
- Joint Service Commendation Medal
- Numerous Viet Nam Awards, including 5 service medals and Gallantry Cross Numerous Air Force Service Awards
- 1990- “Top Gun” (Godby High School ROTC)
- 1992- “Republican of the Year” (Big Bend Republican Party)
- 1995- “Significant Contributor toward reducing Juvenile Crime” (Leon County Justice Council)
- 1995- “Excellence as Chairman” (Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce) as related to years spent as Chairman of the City/County Consolidation Commission
- 1996- “Distinguished Leadership” (Tallahassee Retired Officers’ Association) 1999- “Golden Gloves” (Miccosukee Community) as related to his advocacy for and contributions to their causes
- 2000- “Lending Kids a Helping Hand” (Tallahassee 25 Organization)
- 2000- “Best Leon County Politician” (Tallahassee Magazine) first year ever awarded
- 2001- North East Branch Library named in honor of Bruce Host
Bruce Host was appointed January 13, 2021 by The Director of the Selective Service on the behalf of President Biden with concurrence of the Florida Governor DeSantis to be the Florida Director of Selective Service. The term is open ended. VIEW ARTICLE
AMONG NUMEROUS CERTIFICATES OF APPRECIATION (for impacting, enhancing or implementing Tourist Development Council, Mary Brogan Museum, Challenger Science Center, Gaines Street Revitalization Effort, Big Bend Goodwill Industries, Maranatha Christian School, Killearn HOA
Colonel Bruce Host is the Founder of the Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame and the Founder – President – Chairman of the Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame Society, Inc.