|U.S. House, Indiana, District 9|
|High school||Bloomfield (Indiana) H.S.|
|Master's||National Defense Intelligence College|
|Service/branch||U.S. Marine Corp, Army Reserve, Indiana National Guard|
|Years of service||1965 - 2006|
- Bloomfield (Indiana) H.S.
- Indiana University, B.S. in Education
- 2003: Post Graduate Intelligence Program with the National Defense Intelligence College, Master of Science of Strategic Intelligence
- Private, E-1 in the United States Marine Corps at the start of the Vietnam War, 18 months (including a voluntary six month extension) in Vietnam with Marine Air Control Squadron 4 near Danang
- 1979: Returned to the Army Reserve, worked as a Drill Sergeant, advanced to Staff Sergeant, and accepted a direct commission to First Lieutenant in the Infantry
- Graduated from Airborne School at Ft. Benning at age 41
- 1996: Called to Washington, DC to work on South Asia intelligence, 4½ years in the Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Ground Intelligence Center
Tilford also worked in a series of civilian positions which include the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Department of the Navy.