Lt. Col. Joe Daniels Bookard of Denmark was promoted to the rank of colonel in the United State Army in the Pentagon's White House Memorial Corridor on Jan. 13.
Bookard's father, Jake N. Bookard Sr.; his wife, Dr. Katina Bookard; his three children, Katelin, Joe Daniels II and Jacob Malachi; and his brother, Jake Bookard II, pinned his colonel insignia on his Army Service Uniform. Bookard thanked his family and friends who traveled to Washington, D.C. for the ceremony. He also took a moment to thank his two brothers (Thomas Bookard and Staff Sergeant Antiono Champion) who could not attend.
Bookard reflected on the contributions and many sacrifices his late mother, Arlee E.D. Bookard, made that enabled his success.
Bookard graduated from Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School and received his commission as a second lieutenant in the United States Army, Field Artillery from South Carolina State University.
Since his commissioning, he has led soldiers from platoon to brigade in Airborne, Mechanized, Cavalry and Light Infantry units in three different infantry divisions. He commanded a Field Artillery Battalion in the 82nd Airborne Division, served as the XVIII Airborne Corps Deputy G3 for Task Force Bragg III and most recently served as the executive officer to the director of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization in Washington, D.C.
Bookard has multiple combat tours supporting the nation's Global War on Terrorism and supported Operation Unified Response (Haiti). On Feb. 5, the Secretary Of Defense announced Bookard's selection as a principal to command a Field Artillery Brigade.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from South Carolina State University, a Masters in military arts and science from the School of Advanced Military Studies and a Masters in defense and strategic studies from the United States Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He is also a graduate of the Center for Creative Leadership, Leadership Development Program in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Bookard has been awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, NATO Medal for his participation in the International Security Assistance Forces in Afghanistan, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Valorous Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Citation, Combat Action Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge and various foreign parachutist badges.