Joseph A. Simonelli, Jr., Special Projects Director, Colonel, US Army (Ret.)
Joe Simonelli retired as a Colonel from the Army, where he served for 30 years in positions that ranged in levels from tactical to senior Department of Defense, in areas of human resources, procurement, policy, city management and legislative affairs. In his last three years in uniform he served as the Chief of Staff of Arlington National Cemetery.
Joe’s work with numerous Veteran Service Organizations (VSO) and Military Service Organizations (MSO) in supporting the military, veterans, and their families has made him an acknowledged—and passionate—expert in veterans’ affairs. He understands and values the relationship between military and civilian communities, striving to build close relationships. He is often sought after for his advice and assistance regarding care for veterans and their families.
Joe holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from West Point, a Master of Arts degree in Human Resources from Webster University, and a Master of Science degree in National Security Strategies from the National Defense University, National War College. He is also a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Seminar XXI Fellowship program. He recently graduated from Leadership Arlington, a program of Leadership Center of Excellence in Arlington, Virginia.
His awards include:
The Defense Superior Service Medal (1 Oak Leaf Cluster), Legion of Merit (1 Oak Leaf Cluster), Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (5 Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Commendation Medal (6 Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Achievement Medal (3 Oak Leaf Clusters), National Defense Service Medal with bronze star, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon (with 2 numerals), and the Kuwaiti Liberation Medal.
In addition to an extremely successful military career, Joe has had the privilege of serving in distinguished positions in not-for-profit organizations:
- Over eight years in multiple capacities for the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA);
- Member of the Board of Governors of the Army Navy Country Club, a member-only country club located in the Washington, DC area;
- Member of the Advisory Board for the Blue Sky Foundation’s Boots on the Court Program, a program created to form a partnership between civilian athletes, philanthropists and members of the United States Military bring the game of tennis to our military service members and their families.;
- Chair of Virginia Arlington County’s Military and Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee (MVAC) and on the Arlington County’s World War I Commemorative Task Force;
- Member of the Board of Governors of USA Cares, a charitable organization that addresses the critical and unmet needs of post-9/11 service members, veterans and family members facing service related hardships;
- Member of the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Military Retiree Council.