Since we met Michael J. MacLeod in 2013 he has proven to be a thoughtful and honorable friend to Warriors and Quiet Waters Foundation (WQW) warrior participants and staff. Four years ago, just a few months after separating from the military, SGT Michael J. MacLeod (SGT MAC) approached Warriors and Quiet Waters Foundation to volunteer his services as a photographer. Since then his talent, perspective, and thoughtful approach to his work has proven invaluable to program outreach and imagery. As the photographer of all WQW programs, fundraising, and volunteer events, Mike’s work keeps the needs of warriors at the forefront of his every conversation, action, and decision. He is extremely humble and would be the last person to tell you how he can not only sling a canoe over one shoulder, he is an award-winning writer and photographer.
As someone who enlisted in the Army at age 40, Mike brings a thoughtful perspective to the combat experience and the needs of today’s veterans. SGT MAC is one of the most published military photographers of the last decade, a recipient of both a Bronze Star and a Meritorious Service Medal from the US Army, and an active supporter of veterans’ groups – including Warriors and Quiet Waters Foundation and Eagle Mount – Bozeman. His work has earned dozens of military journalism awards, including Military Journalist of the Year in 2012, and has been published online at Time.com, the Huffington Post, Mother Jones, Fox News, CNN, Corbis Images, Army Times, Business Insider, the Atlantic, and the Long War Journal.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in wildlife biology. In addition to being a combat correspondent with the 82nd Airborne Division, he has worked as a photographer, magazine editor, carpenter, and college professor. Last year he published his first book titled The Brave Ones: A Memoir of Hope, Pride and Military Service. The Brave Ones can be purchased by clicking HERE.
To make SGT MAC even more interesting, he also spent three years living in a wilderness cabin in Montana studying elk, wolves, and mountain lions. And one can’t talk about Mike without discussing how much we love Barbara, his best friend, college sweetheart, and wife of twenty-six years! Together they have two children and a very full life. When they’re not busy photographing for WQW, Mike and Barbara run StudioMacleod – photographing everything from weddings and special events to commercial and editorial work.