PROFILE OF A MUSEUM
Casillas was born in Fresno, California February
21, 1947 to a Hispanic father and mother whose ancestors were of German
decent. Len attended elementary
schools in the area and graduated from San Joaquin Memorial High School in
June of 1965. Soon after, on February
14, 1966 Len enlisted in the U. S. Army.
After completing basic and advanced infantry training at Ft. Ord in California, he was sent to Fort Benning in the state of Georgia. There he entered Officer’s Candidate School
and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant of Infantry on May 9, 1967.
first assignment was as a Training Officer in the Basic Training Brigade at
Fort Campbell, in Kentucky. He later
attended the “Jungle Expert” course at Fort Sherman in the Panama Canal
Zone. Following that training, Len was
sent for a combat tour in South Vietnam as an Infantry Platoon Leader in the
Fourth Infantry Division. Following
that he became a MAT advisor to South Vietnamese forces. For his service Len was awarded the Combat
Infantryman’s Badge, the Army Commendation with ‘V’ device for Valor, Vietnam
Service and Campaign medals as well as the Unit Valorous Award.
leaving active military service on May 8, 1969, Len enrolled at Fresno City
College in 1977 and received an Associated Arts degree. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Science
degree at California State University in 1982. During this time he continued his military
career by serving 27 years in the U.S. Army Reserve and the California Army
National Guard. Len’s duties ranged from an Infantry Company Commander to
Commander of the 3rd Brigade, 40th Infantry Division
(mechanized). Len continued his
military education as well. He
graduated from the Command and General Staff College of the U.S.
military. His awards include the
California State Commendation Medal, California Medal of Merit, Army
Commendation Medal and Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster. He
entered the retired control group on May 15, 1996 as a full Colonel.
retired January 3, 2001 from the Internal Revenue Service branch in Fresno
after 29 years of employment. He spent most of his long IRS career as an
Employee Development Specialist and had several assignments as a Manager and
District Training Officer.
encouragement from his cousin Chuck Monges, the
first director of the Legion of Valor Museum, Len became a docent at the
museum on June 14, 2001. He enjoys
sharing his past military experiences with visitors to the museum. Len excels in public speaking and has
spoken to clubs and school children about U.S. Military history as well as