By unitedweroll on Jan 6, 2012 | In Military News and Support
We salute Retired Lt Gen. Leo Marquez, an Air Force Legend and an American Hero. May he rest in peace and we send prayers of comfort and appreciation for their service to his family.
Air Force maintenance icon dies
by Danny Monahan
377th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
1/6/2012 - KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFNS) -- Retired Lt. Gen. Leo Marquez died Dec. 30 in Albuquerque, N.M., at age 79.
Throughout his 33-year career, Marquez is credited with revolutionizing the maintenance and logistics career field.
"In my many encounters with General Leo Marquez, he always lived up to his reputation as being one of those guys who just comes right at the issue," said Col. Walter Lindsley, the 498th Nuclear Systems Wing commander. "You could tell as you spoke with him that he was weighing your words, and he was thinking about the issues, and you were about to benefit from his sage advice.
"He was a man of action, a fighter, a patriot," Lindsley continued. "He loved the maintenance and logistics community, the Air Force and his country."
Today, an Air Force award bears his name. The Lieutenant General Leo Marquez Award recognizes military and civil service aircraft, munitions and missile maintenance personnel who perform hands-on maintenance or manage a maintenance function.
"He is and will always be an icon in the maintenance and logistics community because of his ability to see the problem and cut right to the issue," said Lindsley, a Lieutenant General Leo Marquez Award recipient. "He's responsible for the Air Force Combat Ammunition Center, our world-class munitions school, and had a hand in the very badge maintainers wear above their left pocket. We have an award named after him that is coveted by maintainers at all levels. His is a lasting legacy and a reminder of the difference one person can make."
The AFCOMAC building at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., was dedicated as the "Marquez Academic Hall" in his honor in 2011.
Marquez is also credited for being instrumental in keeping Kirtland Air Force Base operational after it had been placed on the Base Realignment and Closure Commission list in 1995. That year, the Kirtland AFB Retention Task Force said that without his time and professional expertise, the effort to keep Kirtland AFB from closing would not have been possible.
Marquez was born in Peralta, N.M., in 1932 and graduated from Belen High School in 1949. He entered the Air Force as a second lieutenant in November 1954 when he earned a commission through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps upon graduation from New Mexico State University. In 1978, NMSU named Marquez a distinguished alumnus.
Early in his Air Force career, he was an interceptor pilot, flying F-86s and F-102s. In 1962, Marquez became a maintenance officer and served in a variety of maintenance roles throughout the rest of his career, including as the maintenance control officer for the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing in Vietnam; the logistics project officer in the Directorate of Maintenance Engineering, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Logistics; and as the director of maintenance engineering and supply, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Systems and Logistics.
In August 1983, he was promoted to lieutenant general and became the deputy chief of staff for logistics and engineering at Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., where he remained until his retirement in 1987.
Marquez's military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster. He was selected as Air Force Logistics Command Systems Manager of the year in 1974. In 1977, Marquez was the recipient of the Air Force Association's Executive Management Award. In 2003 he was awarded the Logistics Officer Association Lifetime Achievement Award.
Upon his retirement from the Air Force, Marquez stayed active in New Mexico military affairs, serving on the Kirtland Partnership Committee and the New Mexico Military Base Planning Commission.
He is survived by his wife, Stella, five children and three grandchildren.
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