Commander Joe Leonard is a nationally recognized emergency responder, incident manager, and trainer with thirty-seven years of United States Coast Guard, United States Army, volunteer municipal fire service, and private-sector experience responding to natural disasters, oil spills, hazardous materials releases, marine fires, mass rescue operations, mass care and shelter events, national special security events, and maritime homeland security events. He continues to serve the Coast Guard as a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary where he currently serves as the District 8 (Coast Region) District Staff Officer-Incident Management, as the Division 081-06 Division Staff Officer-Incident Management, and as the Vice Flotilla Commander of Flotilla 081-06-12.
He Chairs the Greater Harris County Local Emergency Planning Committee and is an active member of the Planning Committees for the Hot Zone Conference and the Clean Gulf Conference and on the Domestic Preparedness Leadership Council and Journal Editorial Board.
He is an active member of several professional organizations, including the International Association of Emergency Managers, ASIS, the National Association of SARA Title III Program Officials, the All-Hazards Incident Management Teams’ Association, the Emergency Management Association of Texas, the Oklahoma Emergency Management Association, the Virginia Emergency Management Association, the Virginia Association of Hazardous Materials Specialists, and the Historical Miniatures Gaming Society. He is also a life member of the United States Naval Institute, the Navy League of the United States, and the National Rifle Association.
Commander Leonard’s awards include the Coast Guard Auxiliary Meritorious Service Medal, four Meritorious Service Medals, eight Coast Guard Commendation Medals, the Army Commendation Medal, the Department of Transportation 9-11 Medal, seven Coast Guard Achievement Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, six Coast Guard Commandant’s Letter of Commendation Ribbons, as well as numerous unit and service awards. He is authorized to wear the Coast Guard Marine Safety Professional Pin, Coast Guard Aviator Wings, the Army Parachutist Badge, and the Army Air Assault Badge. He was awarded the Marshall Kraemer Distinguished Service Medal and Humanitarian Service Medal by the Harris County Fire Marshal in 2012. He was recognized with the prestigious U.S. Navy League’s Captain David H. Jarvis Award for Inspirational Leadership and was named a Fox News “Power Player of the Week” on 11 September 2005 for his services as the FEMA-designated Area Commander-Houston Area Mega-Shelter Operations following the devastating landfall of Hurricane Katrina.
He has a Bachelor’s Degree in History from the Virginia Military Institute and a Master’s Degree in Engineering Technology from Murray State University. He holds certifications as a Master Exercise Practitioner, Master Continuity Professional, Certified Emergency Manager, Certified Homeland Protection Professional, and Certified Port Executive.