Major Christopher J. Leonhardt previously served as the Assistant Director of Operations, 24th Special Tactics Squadron, at Pope Army Airfield in North Carolina, responsible for the development of advanced tactics, techniques, procedures, and equipment for the U.S. Special Operations Command and the Air Force. Major Leonhardt graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in May 2007. He completed the Combat Rescue Officer/Pararescue Training Pipeline in July 2009, and has acquired skills as a technical recovery specialist, parachutist, military freefall parachutist, and combat diver. Major Leonhardt has led Rescue and Special Tactics forces and participated in special operations missions during Operations Iraqi Freedom, New Dawn, Enduring Freedom, and Unified Protector. He has also led Theater Security Cooperation Teams in conjunction with missions to build partnership capacity throughout Europe and Africa.