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News Release


Release No: 671-00
November 01, 2000


Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen announced today that Army National Guard Command Sgt. Maj. John J. Leonard Jr. has been selected as the sixth senior enlisted advisor to the assistant secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs.

Leonard will serve as the principal enlisted advisor to the assistant secretary of Defense for all seven branches of the U.S. military Reserve components. He will report to the Pentagon in November as the senior enlisted staff aide to Charles L. Cragin, the principal deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs.

"Command Sgt. Maj. Leonard's background and experiences with the Marines and the Department of the Navy and as the enlisted leader for the Army National Guard, make him extremely well qualified to take on these responsibilities," said Cragin.

Leonard has twice gone to war, once as a Marine and again as an Army National Guard soldier, during nearly 34 years in uniform. After four years in the Marine Corps, with 14 months in Vietnam, he joined the Maine Army National Guard. From 1972 until 1996, Leonard served in dual status as a drilling Army National Guard soldier while employed as a military technician.

He served as Maine's state command sergeant major for eight years during which time he deployed to Southwest Asia for Persian Gulf War duty with his former unit, the 286th Supply and Service Battalion. Since January 1997, he has served as the Army National Guard command sergeant major.

His many decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit, Purple Heart with Gold Star, Meritorious Service Medal and the Air Medal with Numeral 14.

Leonard succeeds Army Reserve Command Sgt. Maj. Collin Younger who has retired.

For more information, please call Army National Guard Col. Terry Jones at (703) 693-8617.

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