About us

About us


Preparing, Empowering and Supporting Veterans for post military service


Vetertans to have a game plan after their life in the military since the transition has often led to downward spirals of depression and alcohol / substance abuse and overdose or suicide.


Young Veterans to take a comprehensive long term look at transitioning where their possibilities are endless. 


Service member with implementing a long term 2 year planning guide. This realistically helps them seamlessly transition to either an institution of higher learning or professional employment.

Why we started

After attending a number of funerals of Recon and Marine Corps teammates, the three cofounders decided to act in an attempt to save lives and knowing that they themselves fell within the statistical envelope, they began helping each other and those who transitioned after them. 

Our research indicates that the vets that either committed suicide or died of overdose were lacking a long-term transition plan.  A simple transition plan can help keep the individuals on an upward trajectory, and research has shown that starting to plan at least two years prior best helps the transition. 

Currently, the military service only provides a 5-day transition program that is forced on the vets just weeks, if not days prior to transition.  This creates a negative atmosphere not advantageous to absorbing the vast amount of information provided.

Our Team

 James Leandro

– Co Founder / CEO

Prior to co-founding Patriot Empowerment Institute, James served 23 years in the U.S. Marine Corps as a Force Reconnaissance Marine with reconnaissance, special operations units and directly supported the U.S. Department of State with over 8 total operational deployments with 4 of those to combat. Upon leaving active duty, he worked as a Latin America, Business Development Intern at Clearspeedtm. In that position he helped cultivate relationships and networks in Latin America in an effort to further the company’s vision and achieve maximum impact to help build a safer world through trust enablement.

James holds an MIA from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, a BA from Columbia University’s School of General Studies and currently an MBA candidate with IE / Brown University’s School of Professional Studies.

Steve Garcia

– Co Founder / CFO

Steve Garcia served honorably in the United States Marine Corps for ten years, during which time he moved up through the enlisted ranks, ultimately completing his career as a Staff Sergeant. Throughout his military career, he moved through greater levels of responsibility and demonstrated a record of superior performance in his progression from recruit training to Force Recon. Notably, Steve completed two combat deployments to Iraq where he fought in the invasion of Baghdad as a Recon Battalion Assistant Team Leader and the Battle of Fallujah as a Team Leader. In Iraq, he served in various leadership positions under the most challenging and complex situations imaginable. Because of his training and experience, he is very familiar with the essential aspects of direction and mission success, including preparation, training, and communication. Steve received a Combat Action ribbon as well as the Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal with “V” combat distinguishing device representing valor. In addition to co-founding PEI, he established and helped Patriot General Engineering grow to a multi-million dollar organization while representing the company as the President.

Ben Garcia

– Co Founder / COO

Prior to co-founding Patriot Empowerment Institute, Ben served 4 years in the U.S. Marine Corps as a Reconnaissance Marine with 1st Reconnaissance Battalion and supported the U.S. Department of State with 2 operational deployments. Upon leaving active duty, he worked his way up to an Executive at Patriot General Engineering and Cal West General Engineering and the CFO of Massage Science. Benjamin holds a Batchelor’s in Business Administration and an MBA specializing in Marketing.

Where are we working?

Communicating and supporting individuals that have already transitioned by connecting them with the appropriate services that can best support their specific needs