Colonel Leonard was commissioned as a Marine Corps officer in December 1989. Shortly thereafter, he joined 3d Battalion, 5th Marines where he commanded a rifle platoon during combat operations in Kuwait and humanitarian operations in Bangladesh. Following the Gulf War, he reported to 1st Reconnaissance Battalion where he led a reconnaissance platoon during counter-drug operations along the southern border of the United States and during combat and relief operations in Somalia.
Colonel Leonard served as a Tactics Instructor and Staff Platoon Commander at The Basic School and the Infantry Officer’s Course from 1994 to 1997. In 1998, he joined 2d Battalion, 4th Marines where he commanded a rifle company and served as the Battalion’s Operations Officer. During this period, he participated in Operation DESERT FOX in Kuwait and deployed twice with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. From 2001 to 2003, he attended and graduated with distinction from Command and Staff College and the School of Advanced Warfighting. Following graduation, he reported to Camp Lejeune, NC where he served as a Plans Officer and Future Operations Officer with II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) and 2d Marine Division during combat operations in Al Anbar Province, Iraq.
Colonel Leonard commanded the Inspector-Instructor Staff, 1st Battalion, 23d Marines from 2006 to 2008. During this period, he manned, trained, equipped and deployed reserve forces in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. After relinquishing command, he attended the Naval War College in Newport, RI and later served as a Military Professor in the Joint Military Operations Directorate and a Fellow on the Chief of Naval Operation’s Strategic Studies Group. From 2010 to 2011, Colonel Leonard served as the Plans Chief for the International Security Assistance Force during combat operations in Afghanistan. In 2013, he assumed command of Weapons & Field Training Battalion at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island. Upon relinquishing command in 2015, he served as the Chief of Staff of the 4th Marine Division in New Orleans. Following this assignment, Col Leonard reported to Marine Forces Reserve in New Orleans where he currently serves as the Chief of Staff for Marine Forces Reserve.
Colonel Leonard’s personal decorations include: Legion of Merit, Bronze Star (with Gold Star), Meritorious Service Medal (with Gold Star), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (with Gold Star), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and the Combat Action Ribbon (with Gold Star).