Alumni Achievement Award. This is given to a GMC alumnus who recognizes the importance of their education at GMC and exemplifies the core values of “Duty, Honor, Country” and “Character Above All” in their professional and personal lives. Their interest and loyalty is evident through their contributions of time, talents, and/or philanthropic support to GMC.
LTC Baker began his illustrious military career in Milledgeville, Georgia when he was commissioned in the Infantry through the Early Commissioning Program at Georgia Military College in 1991. He then earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from Fort Valley State University in 1994.
LTC Baker served in multiple leadership assignments early on in his career, including three company commands. Following his command tours, LTC Baker served as the Assistant Operations Officer of the 3rd Battlefield Coordination Detachment at Osan Air Base and then, as an OPFOR Planner for the Battle Command Training Program. Next, he was selected for assignment as the XO of the Combined Arms Center’s Special Troops Battalion at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, and then as an Operations Officer at the Center for Army Lessons Learned.
LTC Baker next served an assignment with Central Command (CENTCOM) where he deployed as a Ground Plans Officer in the Combined Air Operations Center, Doha, Qatar from 2007 to 2008, and shortly after deployed to Iraq as Brigade XO with 4th Brigade, 1st Infantry Division in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Upon returning to Ft. Leavenworth, he received the distinction of being selected to command the 2-54th Infantry Battalion, 198th Infantry Brigade at Ft. Benning, Georgia. Following an exceptional two years of command, LTC Baker returned to Fort Riley, Kansas where, as the Deputy Brigade Commander of 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, he deployed to Kuwait in Support of Operation Spartan Shield. He was later selected to deploy forward to Northern Iraq where he established a Joint Headquarters and served as the Chief of Staff in support of Operations against ISIS militants. LTC Baker then returned to Ft. Riley to serve as the Team Lead of the Plans, Analysis, and Integration Office for the U.S. Army Garrison. After culminating a career of excellence spanning over 23 years of active service, LTC Baker retired from the Army and now serves as the Director of Human Resources and External Relations at Geary Community Hospital in Junction City, Kansas.
LTC Baker’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Expert Infantryman Badge, the Pathfinder Badge, the Parachutist Badge, and the Air Assault Badge.
LJ’s pride in his alma mater is evident in his continued investment of time, talent and treasure in current students. He served as a former member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors and is currently on the GMC Foundation Board of Trustees. He and his wife, CJ, have created the Old Capital Guard Drill Team Commanders Endowment. As former Commander of the Old Capital Guard Drill team, LJ especially values supporting current members of the team. He also gives back through speaking engagements, as well as the mentoring of GMC cadets. His commitment to GMC and the Corps of Cadets is immeasurable.
LJ and his wife, Clarinda “CJ,” reside in Junction City, Kansas. The Bakers are fervent believers in the positive impacts afforded through life-long education and are very proud of their four young adults, Shatracie, Sonjay, and twins Malika and Nashia.