Biography

LtCol WILLES K. LEE, USA (Ret)
Defender of Freedom

“Few people are privileged to defend our nation.  For 26 years as a soldier, I was privileged be a Defender of Freedom.  I am honored to continue to defend freedom with the National Rifle Association of America, Freedom’s Safest Place.”

Willes_Lee_PHOTO_2Willes Lee is a member of the NRA Board of Directors.  He is a co-Chairman of the Trump-Pence Second Amendment Coalition leadership team.  Willes was an NRA panel speaker on the week-long 2013 Freedom Alliance/NRA Freedom Cruise.  Lee was one of a very few NRA non-Board members appointed to an National Rifle Association of America (NRA) committee.  He was the first from Hawaii appointed to an NRA committee, serving on Urban Affairs led by Roy Innis in 2015.  In 2016, Lee was the first from Hawaii to be nominated to the NRA Board of Directors and moved to the Board in January 2017. In 2017, Willes became the first from Hawaii to gain ballot access through petition, and the first to be elected to the NRA Board of Directors.  For 2017-’18, he serves on the Military and Veterans Affairs Committee chaired by LtCol Oliver North, the Outreach Committee with Sheriff David Clarke and LTC Allen West, the Grassroots Committee, the Legislative Affairs Committee, and the Federal Legislative Affairs sub-committee.

willes-lee-desert-storm-2-croppedLee is an NRA Benefactor and a Ring of Freedom member.  His political and legislative focus is the defense and promulgation of our Second Amendment civil rights.  Included in his membership organizations are Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), Gun Owners of America (GOA), Hawaii Rifle Association (HRA), Virginia Shooting Sports Association (VSSA), Virginia Carry Defense League (VCDL), and ‘Bama Carry.  Willes is a strong supporter of Friends of NRA in multiple states to assist funding of the shooting sports and safety, competitions, and youth scholarships.  He has coordinated NRA speakers’ visits, to include several NRA Presidents, directly into the heart of anti-gun territory.

Willes is the President of the National Federation of Republican Assemblies (NFRA) and the National Director of the Hawaii Republican Assembly (HIRA).  He is a board member of the American Conservative Union (ACU) Foundation, hosts of the annual CPAC conservative mega-gathering, and member of the Council for National Policy (CNP).  Willes is a former Hawaii Republican Party (HRP) State Chairman and Republican National Committee (RNC) member, attending the past four Republican National Convention including twice on the national Platform Committee.  He has been a leader or member of many political and issue-oriented campaigns across the nation.

Lee graduated from the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point and became a Ranger and Airborne qualified Armor officer, a Defender of Freedom.  He is a 22-year veteran of the Cold War on the Czechoslovakian border, the fight against terrorism in Europe, Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and five years with the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon.  His service awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal for national operations, the Bronze Star Medal for combat performance, and the Legion of Merit for combating terrorism.  Willes is a member of the Order of Saint George, the top award for the US Army’s mounted force.  He is a member of the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, the highest title of honor bestowed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and was the faculty sponsor of the University of Kentucky Rifle Team as an ROTC instructor.  Willes is a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).  Lee was the Governor’s appointee as Hawaii State Boxing Commission Chairman and a member of the Board of the Lutheran High School of Hawaii.

willes-lee-desert-storm-1-croppedWilles’ love and appreciation for guns and shooting began as a child, hunting with his father in France and Germany.  He qualified expert in the US Army with the M1911, M9, M14, M16, and M3.  He fired everything from Claymore mines and grenade launchers to 107mm mortars and 155mm Howitzers.  Lee shot Top Gun in his company as a M60A3 tank commander with the M68 105mm cannon, M2HB machine gun, and M240 machine gun; Top Platoon in the battalion; and Top Company in the Brigade.  Willes made several M1A1 battle runs during the first Gulf War firing the L/44 120mm smoothbore cannon.  He carries a Virginia CCW permit.  He owns his father’s collectibles: a Savage Model 99 250-3000 rifle, a Fox Sterlingworth 12 gauge shotgun, and a Colt .32 Pocket Positive pistol.

willes-lee-republican-national-convention-1Willes is married with two grown daughters.  He holds an Engineering Degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Central Michigan University, and was a Marshall Award nominee at the US Army Command and General Staff College.  He has run five marathons, is an age-group 800-meter run state champion, and has over 250 SCUBA dives.  Willes lives in Honolulu and in Northern Virginia.