Charles P. Tombras Jr. (’64)

Category: Army ROTC Alumni Council Hall of Fame | Communities

Charles P. Tombras, Jr. graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1964 was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Infantry. After training at Fort Benning that included Airborne and Ranger schools, he reported to the newly formed 1st Cavalry Division (Air Mobile) at Fort Benning, GA.

In the 1st CAV, he served in the 1st Battalion (Airborne), 8th Cavalry, 1st Brigade. Deployed to the Republic of Vietnam, Tombras was a rifle platoon leader in the Battle of Ben-Khe, in Binh Dinh Province, December 1965, and saw action in the Ia Drang Valley. He was awarded the Bronze Star with valor device for his actions as a rifle platoon leader near Binh Dinh on 20 February 1966. Tombras returned from Vietnam and resigned his commission in 1966.

Upon his return to Knoxville, Tombras joined the ten-person advertising agency, The Tombras Group, which his father had started in 1946. During his tenure, the company grew to 320 employees making it one of the top-ten independently owned advertising agencies in the U.S. Over the course of his 54-year career, Tombras’ accomplishments include: the Knoxville Chapter American Advertising Federation Hall of Fame, the 2013 Donald G. Hileman Distinguished Alumni Award from the UT College of Communication and Information, and the 2017 UT Alumni Professional Achievement Award.

Tombras and his wife Brenda live in Knoxville, Tennessee.