Joe Plenzler is the director of media relations for the American Legion national headquarters in Washington, D.C. A 20-year combat veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Plenzler was responsible for planning and executing the largest unit media embed program in the Corps’ history during the invasion of Iraq in 2003 while working directly for then-Maj. Gen. James Mattis. Plenzler served a cumulative five years in Japan and spent his last five years on active duty working in the Pentagon as the spokesman, press secretary, and staff group director for Gens. James Conway, James Amos, and Joseph Dunford – the 34th, 35th, and 36th commandants of the Marine Corps. Prior to joining the Legion, he served as the executive vice president of membership and marketing at the U.S. Naval Institute, in Annapolis, M.D. He is an equity partner in a veteran-owned analytics company focused on financial services and is a vocal advocate for veterans – especially in the areas of entrepreneurship and gender equality.