WARRENSBURG — A highly sought-after inspirational speaker who has spoken to groups ranging from public school students to NFL football players and members of Fortune 500 companies, Master Sgt. Cedric King will speak at the University of Central Missouri at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21 in Hendricks Hall. He will present the Ike Skelton Lecture, which is the premiere event for the Servant Leadership Lecture Series, a joint initiative between UCM and Whiteman Air Force Base.
A wounded warrior and member of the elite Army Rangers who earned a number of military decorations, King will share a story of persistence and overcoming adversity while inspiring others to keep an open mind as they push through life’s obstacles. His presentation is open to the public and free tickets will be available at the Central Tickets Box Office, Administration Building 100B, weekdays, 9 a.m. to noon, beginning Wednesday, Sept. 14, through Tuesday, Sept. 20, and 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21.
King’s presentation is the third lecture in this series, which previously brought to campus former Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Richard Myers (Ret.) and NASA astronaut Michael S. Hopkins. The Servant Leadership Lecture series was established in 2014 in celebration of the shared values between UCM and Whiteman, and in recognition of former Base Commander Brig. Gen. Thomas Bussiere, whose legacy of selfless, community-focused leadership has provided the foundation for the series. The lecture is named for former Congressman Ike Skelton, a Democrat from Lexington, who died in 2013 having represented Missouri’s 4th District from 1977 to 2011, including leadership as the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.
King entered the United States Army in 1995. During a career that took him from an infantry private to a position of leadership in the Rangers, King graduated from a number of distinguished Army schools. These included the U.S. Army Jumpmaster Course, U.S. Army Pathfinder Course, Air Assault course, the U.S. Army Ranger Course, and others. He is the recipient of the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal, and is a four-time Best Ranger Competition participant.
On July 25, 2012, during his second tour in Afghanistan, King was severely injured by an improvised explosive device. The blast caused major internal injuries, permanent loss to part of his right arm and hand, and the amputation of both legs. He applied the same determined, can-do mindset to his recovery that he had relied on to succeed as an Army Ranger. With the love and support of his wife, Khieda, and daughters, Amari, and Khayma, he began rebuilding his life.
Just 21 months after losing both legs, King completed the Boston Marathon, running on prosthetic blades. He has competed in a number of physically daunting events, including a 70.3-mile half Ironman Triathlon, the 2014 New York City Marathon, and the 48.6-mile Disney Marathon series. There, he successfully completed four runs in four days — a 5k, 10k, half marathon, and full marathon.
Today, just as he led and motivated men and women in combat, he now leads and motivates others to see their possibilities.
To learn more about King, visit cedricking.us. Call 660-543-8888, or visit ucmo.edu/series for parking and additional information.
Release courtesy of University of Central Missouri