Colonel Michael D. Leonas is the commander of the 442d Fighter Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. The 442d Fighter Wing is an Air Force Reserve A-10 Thunderbolt II unit. As commander, he is responsible for the manning, training and combat readiness for approximately 1,300 Air Force reservists at Whiteman AFB and one geographically separated unit: the 476th Fighter Group at Moody AFB, Ga.
Colonel Leonas earned his commission through the U.S Air Force Academy in 1990. He has served as Chief of Scheduling at the wing level and Chief of Stan/Eval at the group level. Additionally he has served as an Assistant Director of Operations and Director of Operations at the squadron level. Prior to his current position he was the Deputy Commander of the 442d Fighter Wing, Whiteman AFB, Missouri.
Colonel Leonas has deployed numerous times in support of Operation Southern Watch and Operation Enduring Freedom. Colonel Leonas has earned numerous medals and awards for his achievements while deployed including the Afghanistan campaign medal. He is a command pilot with more than 3700 total hours and over 200 combat sorties in the A-10. In his civilian occupation, he is a career Air Reserve Technician in the 442d Fighter Wing.
1990 Bachelor of Science in General Engineering, United States Air Force Academy, Colo.
1998 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2004 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala, by correspondence
2017 Army War College, Carlise Barracks, Pa, by correspondence
2017 Masters of Strategic Studies, Carlise Barracks, Pa.
2018 Reserve Component National Security Course, National Defense University, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C
1. November 1990 – December 1991, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Columbus Air Force Base, Miss.
2. December 1991 – May 1992, Student, T-37 Instructor Pilot Training, Vance AFB, OK and Randolph AFB, Texas
3. May 1992 – July 1994, T-37 Instructor Pilot, 8th Flying Training Squadron, Vance AFB, Okla.
4. July 1994 – January 1997, T-3 Instructor Pilot, Flight Commander, 557th Flying Training Squadron, USAFA, Colo.
5. January 1997 – May 1997, A-10 Student Pilot, 358th Fighter Squadron, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.
6. May 1997 – September 1999, A-10 pilot, Chief Scheduler, Flight Commander, 354th Fighter Squadron, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz. Deployed in support of OSW
7. September 1999 – September 2000, A-10 Instructor Pilot, Chief of Stan/Eval, 25th Fighter Squadron, Osan Air Base, Korea
8. September 2000 – March 2002, Chief of Wing Scheduling, RTU Instructor Pilot, 355th Operational Support Squadron, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.
9. March 2002 – July 2005, Chief of Group Stan/Eval, SEFE, 355th Operations Group, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.
10. July 2005 – January 2013, Chief of Group Stan/Eval, SEFE, 442d Operations Group, Whiteman AFB, Mo. Deployed in support of OEF three times
11. January 2013 – December 2013, Assistant Director of Operations, 303d Fighter Squadron, Whiteman AFB, Mo.
12. December 2013 – May 2016, Director of Operations, 303d Fighter Squadron, Whiteman AFB, Mo. Deployed in support of OEF
13. May 2016 – December 2017, Commander, 303d Fighter Squadron, Whiteman AFB, Mo.
14. December 2017 – August 2019, Deputy Commander, 442d Operations Group, Whiteman AFB, Mo.
15. August 2019 – March 2022, Commander, 442d Operations Group, Whiteman AFB, Mo.
16. March 2022 – November 2023, Vice Commander, 442d Fighter Wing, Whiteman AFB, Mo.
17. November 2023 – Present, Commander, 442d Fighter Wing, Whiteman AFB, Mo.
Rating: command pilot
Flight hours: More than 5,100 hours including more than 785 combat hours
Aircraft flown: T-37, T-41, T-3A, OA-10 and A-10
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with eight oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Meritorious Unit Award with two oak leaf clusters
AF Outstanding Unit Award with three oak leaf clusters
AF Organizational Excellence Award
Combat Readiness Medal with five oak leaf clusters
National Defense Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Korean Defense Service Medal
Armed Forces Reserve Medal with one 'M' Device
EFFECTIVE DATE OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 30, 1990
First Lieutenant May 30, 1992
Captain May 30, 1994
Major July 1, 2001
Lieutenant Colonel Oct. 10, 2007
Colonel Aug. 3, 2019
(Current as of November 2023)