Buffalo Soldiers
May 03, 2024 12:00 PM
Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Retired (Ret) Jerry Wayne
Buffalo Soldiers

Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Retired (Ret) Jerry Wayne Cheatom was born in El Dorado, Arkansas to Monroe and Annie Mae Dunn Cheatom.  Jerry the only son has three sisters.
LTC Cheatom developed a sense of Patriotism not only from family but exposure to the American Legion, Boys Scouts of America and the American Legion Boys State.
In secondary school he played football, was a track manager, and elementary track coach, as well as a student council representative.  First of his family to attend college LTC Cheatom enrolled in college after high school graduation.  While in college he pledged Ebony Esquires, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Scabbard and Blades Military Society, and served as Black Students Association Vice President his sophomore year and president junior and senior years.   As a three-year Army ROTC Scholarship recipient, he was commissioned a second lieutenant of infantry in May 76 from Arkansas State University.

LTC Cheatom’s active duty assignments were : Platoon Leader Company B 1st Battalion Sixtieth Infantry, and Executive Officer, Company C (Airborne) , 1st Battalion Sixtieth Infantry, Fort Richardson Alaska; Battalion Adjutant, 1st Battalion Eighteenth  Infantry First Infantry Division, and Operations Officer  and Company Commander United States  Army Retraining Brigade, Fort Riley Kansas;  Operations Officer, United States  Army Combat Developments Experimentation  Center and  S-3, Third Battalion Ninth Infantry Regiment Fort Ord California; S-3, Task Force 3-9 Infantry Multi-National Force and Observers, Sharm el Sheikh,  Egypt; Chief Maneuver Branch, United States   Army Readiness Group, Fort Douglas, Utah; Space Surveillance  Commander, Space Defense Commander, and Chief Training Evaluations, Standardization and Exercises, United States  Space Command, Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Base, Colorado;  Professor Military Science Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, Florida, Regimental Commander United States Army Cadet Command, Fort Bragg North Carolina, and Fort Lewis, Washington. He earned Airborne Wings, Expert Infantryman‘s Badge, Air Assault wings, Space Operations Badge, and Ranger Tab.

After retirement from active duty LTC (Ret) Cheatom continued to wear the uniform for eight years as Senior Army Instructor Theodore Roosevelt High School. He removed the uniform and served as Assistant Principal at Roosevelt for five years and returned to the uniform in July 2010 as Senior Army Instructor Sam Houston High School. LTC (Ret) Cheatom became the fourth Director of Army Instruction for San Antonio Independent School District in July 2016. LTC Cheatom earned a bachelor’s degree from Arkansas State University, master’s degrees from Kansas State University, and Trinity University, a Doctorate Degree from University of Texas at San Antonio.

His awards and recognitions are, North East Independent School District Superintendent’s Award 2008-2009, Inducted into Phi Delta Kappa Educators Hall of Fame 2014, Lifetime Achievement Award Psi Alpha Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity 2016, National Board of the Rocks, Inc’s The Colonel Robert B Burke Award 2023.

He was a member of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Selma followed by Holy Redeemer, San Antonio Parishes before joining Mount Calvary Baptist Church San Antonio. In addition, LTC Cheatom is a member of Psi Alpha Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Alamo Area Alliance of Black School Educators, Texas Alliance of Black School Educators, and National Alliance of Black School Educators. He is also, a member of American Legion Post 828, Disabled Veterans of America, San Antonio Chapter of Rocks, Bexar County Buffalo Soldiers Association, American Legion Department Boys State Committee and serves as a Texas Boys State Senior Counselor.    

He was married to Judith Liles of Angier, North Carolina 44 years ago in Anchorage, Alaska. Jerry and Judi are the blessed parents of four grown daughters (Keyna, Amber, Mila, and Asante) four grandchildren (Quinten, Camryn Lane, Grayson, and Julian).