Lee A. Van Arsdale graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 1974, and served in the United States Army until his retirement in 1999. His assignments were primarily in Special Forces, with 11 years spent in the First Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (Airborne). In the course of his Army career, Lee served in three combat zones in leadership positions, and was decorated for valor with the Silver Star and with the Purple Heart for wounds received in combat. Additionally, he participated in numerous classified operations, on a global scale, while in a leadership capacity. During his final two years in uniform, he served as the Counterterrorism/Special Projects Branch Chief in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. In addition to the decorations cited above, his military awards include the Combat Infantryman's Badge, Master Paratrooper wings, Master Military Free Fall wings, Air Assault wings, Ranger tab and Special Forces tab. He retired with the rank of Colonel.
Following his military career, Lee was the Assistant General Manager for National Security Response at the Bechtel Nevada Corporation, a government-contracting firm that managed the Nevada Test Site and other Department of Energy facilities. In February 2001, Lee took a four-month leave of absence from Bechtel Nevada to work as a military advisor on the feature film "Black Hawk Down" in Morocco, due to his participation with Task Force Ranger in Somalia. As an adjunct, he appeared on the History Channel production entitled "The Real Story of Black Hawk Down." In October 2001, Lee incorporated Unconventional Solutions, Inc., and served as the president of this private consulting firm. He subsequently served as the founding Executive Director of the University of Nevada Las Vegas Institute for Security Studies, which was chartered to advance the body of knowledge for homeland security and anti-terrorism through education, training, and research. He then accepted the position of Chief Executive Officer of Triple Canopy, Inc., an integrated security solutions company that protects people and assets for the federal government and commercial clients, primarily in high threat environments. Lee currently serves on the boards of select firms.
In addition to receiving a bachelor's degree in engineering from West Point, Lee earned a master's degree in geography from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. He is also a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College and the U.S. Army War College. Lee is a life member of several organizations, to include the Special Operations Association, the Special Forces Association, the Association of the United States Army, the International Security Management Association, the National Rifle Association, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and Mensa.