Danny White was born and raised in Taylors, South Carolina. He graduated as the valedictorian from Hampton Park Christian School and attended The Citadel on a Naval ROTC – Marine option scholarship. In May 1991, he graduated with a B.S. in Civil Engineering and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps. He successfully completed The Basic School (TBS) in Quantico, Virginia. TBS, a six-month school, focused heavily on the Marine Corps’ combat-tested leadership principles.
While attending the Combat Engineer Officer Basic Course at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Danny and his high school sweetheart, Jenny, married Valentine’s Day 1992. His first assignment was a three-year tour with Jenny on Okinawa, Japan, with 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion, where Danny led various sized units of Marines and Sailors from a platoon (39) up to a company (155) in Okinawa, South Korea, Japan, Tinian, Singapore, and Australia.
In 1995 he transferred to the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, California, where he led 34 Marines and civilian employees to maintain and repair the center’s $42 million of infrastructure. In December 1997, while en route to attend the U.S. Army Engineer School’s Engineer Officer Advanced Course (EOAC) at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, Jenny, pregnant with their fourth baby, and five-year old son Danny were killed in a single-vehicle accident on I-40, west of Kingman, Arizona.
Danny and his two surviving children moved to South Carolina to assess the feasibility of continuing to serve as a Marine, now as a single parent. He accepted orders to move to Fort Leonard Wood and attend the Army’s EOAC. After graduating, Danny served as a small group leader/instructor at EOAC. Shortly thereafter he married his bride Nora. During this tour, he led and mentored 139 U.S. and international officers (from 12 countries), achieved 2,500+ hours instructing, and was recognized as the U.S. Army Engineer School’s Company Grade Instructor of the Year for 2000. He also graduated from the University of Missouri-Rolla (now known as Missouri University of Science & Technology) with a M.S. in Engineering Management.
He returned to Okinawa, Japan, along with his family, for duty with Marine Wing Support Squadron 172 (MWSS-172) for nearly three years. Danny served as the Operations Officer then the Executive Officer (second in command) of 600+ Marines and Sailors and led the planning for over 20 exercises in eight different countries in the Western Pacific. During this assignment, he was singled out as the one leader most responsible for MWSS-172 winning the 2002 award for the best MWSS (out of 10) in the Marine Corps.
In 2004, Danny reported to Quantico, Virginia where he served in Manpower & Reserve Affairs, Headquarters Marine Corps and led the team that planned the largest end strength growth for the Marine Corps since the Vietnam War.
Danny transferred to The Joint Staff J-3 at the Pentagon in 2007. During this assignment, he led a team of military officers and civilians from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States to improve strategic interoperability of the member nations’ militaries and influence national leaders and policy. Additionally, he planned for and spoke at 15 international conferences in six countries.
He transferred to Programs & Resources, Headquarters Marine Corps for his final assignment and retired from the Marine Corps as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2012.
During his career, Danny’s superiors consistently recognized him at the end of each assignment with a personal award (i.e., a medal) for his leadership and process improvement (establishing or making the policies and procedures better than when he arrived).
Along his leadership journey, Danny recognized that he’s wired with a teacher’s heart and has a passion to encourage other leaders at work, at home, and in their communities. He wants to be a channel and not a dam with the lessons learned thus far on his leadership journey as a Marine (21 years), husband (24 years), and father (24 years).
After his retirement, he founded Lead with Liberty LLC as Calling #2 and published his first book A Widower’s Walk: From Desert to Destiny. Danny feels he has learned more about leadership and communication from his wife Nora of 18 years and rearing their eight children than from any other experience.