COL James E. Leonard, ’60

Covering more than 34 years, Colonel James E. Leonard’s military career was distinguished by over 10 years overseas, including a combat tour in Vietnam.  His many key assignments range from CO  of a basic training Bn in Ft. Jackson, through delegate to US-USSR Arms Control talks in Geneva, Chief of NBC Warfare for SHAPE in Belgium, to Deputy Director of Theater Military Policy in the State Dept–foreign tours being in England, Belgium, Switzerland, and Italy.

Colonel Leonard’s awards include 2 Legions of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, 2 Bronze Stars, 5 Air Medals, and 3 Meritorious Service medals. 

Jim was a member of the Ohio Army National Guard all through his time at The Ohio State University, being graduated as a Distinguished Military Graduate in 1960 with a BS in Agronomy, later earning an MS in Plant Pathology.  Besides branch basic & advanced course, his military education includes the Navy War College Command & Staff Course, Army War College, and NATO Defense College (in Rome).

In Viet Nam, then-CPT Leonard was assigned as Assistant Division Chemical Officer for the 1st Infantry Div.  While there he earned the DFC when he was mission commander for a 4-helicopter operation.  They came under heavy fire, but returned to base with no hits after inflicting damage to 2 NVA regiments.

COL Leonard received the HQ DA Pace Award for his contributions of outstanding significance to the Army in International Arms Control Negotiations.

After his military career, he retired serving as a Vice-President at Battelle Memorial Institute in management of systems analysis & engineering, and marketing to the defense sector.

Concurrently in his civilian life, Jim became a leader in many organizations at state & local levels, including DAV, the American Legion, local government commissions, and fraternity groups. He served as President of the Alumni Society for the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Some of his civilian honors include the Alumni Distinguished Service Award from Alpha Tau Zeta Alumni Association, and a Governor’s appointment to the Ohio War Orphans & Disabled Veterans Scholarship Bd.