Something about the Author
Jeffrey M. Leatherwood was born on October 20, 1970 in Nuremburg, Germany, and spent his formative years living on military bases. As a young child, he was surrounded by Army culture. His grandfather, Woodrow, won two medals fighting across France and Belgium in WWII. His father, Grady Leatherwood, was a career NCO who had twice served in Vietnam. Upon his retirement from the U.S. Army, Grady moved his family to his native Haywood County, North Carolina, where the author graduated from Tuscola High School in 1988. He attended community college and worked in retail for one year.
In 1989, Leatherwood followed family tradition and enlisted in the Army shortly afterward. After serving a single term with the U.S. Army's field artillery branch, Leatherwood attended Western Carolina University, a small North Carolina college, where he received two bachelor's degrees in English and History. After brief stints in newspaper journalism, print advertising, and the music business, Leatherwood returned for a master's degree in U.S. Military & Diplomatic History at Cullowhee in 2003.
It was during this period that Leatherwood began the research for what would become his first book, "Nine from Aberdeen." Within one year, he had finished a book-length master's thesis on the hitherto unknown U.S. Army Ordnance bomb squads of WWII, a forerunners of our modern-day EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) services who still risk their lives in war and peace. Today, EOD still serves humanity in a noble mission.
Leatherwood went on to earn his doctorate in 19th and 20th Century U.S. and World History at West Virginia University. During his five years as a WVU graduate student, he became an educator, teaching a variety of undergraduate classes, including Modern Military History. Leatherwood also completed his dissertation on the 1919 Charlotte Streetcar Strike, one of North Carolina's greatest peacetime tragedies. His dissertation would be expanded and published in 2017.
After graduation in 2009, Dr. Leatherwood stayed on at his alma mater to teach Humanities and History courses for WVU's Eberly College of Arts and Sciences. He also resumed work on "Nine from Aberdeen." Despite a certain amount of discouragement from academic quarters, Leatherwood never stopped believing in his WWII EOD history project, which was published in 2012 through Cambridge Scholars Publishing, a United Kingdom press committed to helping first-time academic writers.
Since his first publication, Leatherwood has been invited to give the dedication speech for the new Army EOD HQ, Kane Hall, at Ft. Campbell, KY. He also addressed the 25th annual meeting of the National EOD Association at Virginia Beach, attended by EOD veterans from all conflicts from WWII onward. More recently, Leatherwood has attended the 2015 wreath-laying ceremony at Eglin AFB, Florida, and presented his research at the 2016 Global EOD Symposium in Bethesda, Maryland.
Leatherwood is currently an Associate Professor with American Military University (AMU), a campus of the online American Public University System, where he teaches both undergraduate and graduate-level courses. Leatherwood's specialty is military history from the Revolution to the present day, but he has also taught general U.S. and World History courses, as well as Western Civilization. Leatherwood recently taught American Military History for one semester at USC-Columbia. He and his wife, Jennifer Beck, are presently researching and co-writing a book on the Revolutionary War in the South.