Major General Daniel J. Lecce was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is a 1984 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps in 1986. He received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1987.
He first served at Camp Pendleton, California, where he was assigned as civil law attorney and trial counsel. He later served as the Commanding Officer, Headquarters and Service Company, Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton. He was transferred to the 3rd Force Service Support Group, Okinawa, Japan, in 1992 and served as a legal assistance attorney and trial counsel. Major General Lecce next served as an Assistant Professor, United States Naval Academy (Leadership and Law), from 1993 to 1996. He was selected and attended the Judge Advocate General of the Army School from which he received a Masters of Law in Operational and International Law in 1997.
In 1997 Major General Lecce was transferred to 1st Force Service Support Group at Camp Pendleton, California, where he served as Senior Defense Counsel and Officer-in-Charge of Legal Assistance. In 1999 he deployed as the Staff Judge Advocate, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, and participated in the United Nations’ Operation Stabalise (East Timor) and Operation Southern Watch (Persian Gulf). He was later transferred to Norfolk, Virginia, and served as Deputy Staff Judge Advocate, United States Marine Corps Forces, Atlantic, from 2000-2003.
In 2003, Major General Lecce was selected and served as the Commanding Officer, B Company, Marine Security Guard Battalion (United Arab Emirates) responsible for all Marine detachments posted at United States embassies and consulates throughout the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent. He left command in 2005 to serve as the Branch Head, Operational and International Law, Office of the Staff Judge Advocate to the Commandant, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps. In 2006 Major General Lecce was selected as the Marine Fellow to Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. He graduated with a Masters of International Public Policy in 2007 and was designated a Regional Area Officer (Middle East/North Africa).
He was assigned as the Staff Judge Advocate, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing, in 2007. In 2009 Major General Lecce deployed with II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. After returning to the United States in 2010, Major General Lecce served as the Commanding Officer, Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune. After command, he served as the Staff Judge Advocate to the Combatant Commander, United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM).
He assumed duties as the Assistant Judge Advocate General, Military Justice, in June 2014, overseeing all courts-martial appellate litigation within the Department of the Navy and military justice policy for the Navy. In July 2018, Major General Lecce was promoted to his current rank and assumed the billet of Staff Judge Advocate to the Commandant of the Marine Corps.
His personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the Navy‐Marine Corps Commendation Medal.