Regina Rush-Kittle

Regina Rush-Kittle
"Don't settle for what people expect you to be. Be what you expect to be. Be what you want to be."
- Regina Rush-Kittle

Induction Category:
Politics, Government & Law

Born: 1961

Inducted: 2017

Regina Rush-Kittle started her law enforcement career in 1983 with the Connecticut Department of Corrections.  By 2015, she had trail-blazed through her career to become the first African-American woman to become a Connecticut State Police Sergeant, Lieutenant, Major, and the commander of a barracks.

Born on January 2, 1961, in Baltimore, Maryland, Regina was the oldest in a family of three siblings. In 1968 her family moved to Middletown, Connecticut.

After graduating from Middletown High School in 1979, Rush-Kittle attended UCONN and graduated in 1983 with a degree in Political Science, making the Dean’s list several semesters. It was during her junior year at UCONN that Rush-Kittle joined the US Marine Corps Reserves, attending basic training during the summer between her Junior and senior years.  She served in the Marine Reserves for three years.

After graduating in 1983, she intended to go to law school. Lacking the funds to begin those studies, she took a job as a corrections officer at the Niantic women’s prison. There she realized an attraction to law enforcement. She joined the Middletown Police Department as their first black female patrol officer in 1985.

Concurrently, she transferred her military career to the US Army Reserves. With corrections and policing now in her career path, she attempted to join the Military Police, but soon found out that she was not qualified … by one inch of height.

Undeterred, she became a drill sergeant and later rose to the ranks of Command Sergeant Major – the highest regular enlisted rank in the Reserves.  

In August of 1996, Rush-Kittle was promoted to the rank of State Police Sergeant, the first African-American female to attain that rank.  While a Sergeant, she served as a patrol supervisor at Troop W, Troop F and Troop K. She was also assigned as an investigator in the Internal Affairs Unit. 

While busy balancing her dual career, Rush-Kittle completed her Master’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration in just 20 months, graduating from Western New England College with a 4.0 GPA in 1997.  That same year, she married her husband, William Kittle. William is a Connecticut State Police Master Sergeant and retired Connecticut Army National Guard First Sergeant. He had just started his first day of training with the CT State Police the morning of their wedding.

In February of 2003, while assigned as patrol supervisor at Troop K, Rush-Kittle was mobilized as an Army Reservist for deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. She was deployed as a member of the United States Army Reserve for over a year and returned to Troop K in March of 2004, where she was assigned as the Acting Executive Officer.

In July of 2004, after scoring number one on both the Lieutenants and Master Sergeants promotional examinations, Rush-Kittle was promoted to the rank of State Police Lieutenant, the first African-American female in the department’s one hundred year history to attain that rank. 

Her State Police career was interrupted again in 2009 to prepare and subsequently serve as the Command Sergeant Major of the 321st Military Intelligence Battalion of Texas, completing a tour of duty in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  During this deployment, she was awarded the Bronze Star Medal.

Following her return to the Connecticut State Police, Rush-Kittle attended the 244th Session of the FBI National Academy, in Quantico, VA.  After graduation from the FBINA, she was assigned as the first female Commandant of the Connecticut State Police Training Academy. In December 2011, Rush-Kittle was promoted to the rank of State Police Major, again being the first African-American female to attain this rank. 

In August 2015, Rush-Kittle concluded 30 years of service to the state of Connecticut and joined the Millbury, MA Police Department, where she served as second-in-command for the department until February 2017.

In March of 2012, Rush-Kittle concluded her military service, retiring after serving in both the U.S Marine Corps and U.S Army Reserves.

In January 2019, Rush-Kittle returned to service with the State of Connecticut when she was appointed as the Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. 

During This Time
1966 - Today: Struggle for Justice