Robert "Bob" E. Blecha was born in Belleville, Kansas, and raised on a farm north of Cuba, Kansas, in Republic County. He attended Tabor School (a one-room country schoolhouse, District #33) and in 1961 graduated from Belleville High School, Belleville, Kansas. He attended college at Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kansas; Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas; and Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas. He served in the United States Army from 1964 until 1966. During his years of service, he was stationed at various bases throughout the U.S. and abroad: Fort Leonardwood, Missouri; Fort Ord, California; Fort Meade, Maryland; Fort Belvoir, Virginia; and Cam Rahn Bay, South Vietnam. While in Vietnam, he served as a Chaplain's Assistant with the 87th Engineer Battalion (construction). In November 1966, he was elected as Republic County Sheriff and took office in January 1967. At the time he was 23 years of age and was the youngest sheriff in the nation. He was fortunate to be re-elected 5 times to this office. In October 1979, he resigned his post to begin a new career with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI). He was originally stationed in Hays, Kansas. After being promoted to Special Agent Supervisor, Special Services Division, in October 1994, he moved to KBI Headquarters, Topeka, Kansas. In 1996, he graduated from the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, and was promoted to Assistant Director of Field Investigations Division. Kansas Attorney General Paul Morrison appointed him as the 11th Director of the KBI in June 2007. He is excited about the future of the KBI in keeping with its tradition of assisting law enforcement, prosecutors and the citizens of Kansas.