Dalessandro is a retired Colonel in the U.S. Army and the Acting Secretary of the American Battle Monuments Commission. He is former Director of the United States Army Center of Military History at Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C. Dalessandro frequently leads battlefield tours to sites in the United States, France and Italy.
Dalessandro graduated from the Virginia Military Institute with a degree in History in 1980. His graduate studies included work at the College of William and Mary, the U.S. Army War College and George Washington University.
He has had a wide variety of Army leadership and staff assignments including time as a platoon leader, command at company, depot and battalion level and staff assignments at echelons of command ranging from battalion through Department of the Army level
Dalessandro currently serves as the Chairman of the United States World War One Centennial Commission. He assumed those duties following the untimely death of former Congressman Ike Skelton. He was appointed to the commission by the House Minority Leader, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi of California.
Dalessandro is widely published on the lifeways and material culture of the American Soldier in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. He is co-author of the Organization and Insignia of the American Expeditionary Forces, 1917-1923, he serves as editor of the Army Officer’s Guide, co-author of Willing Patriots: Men of Color in the First World War, and Contributions of African American Soldiers and the American Lions: the 332nd Infantry Regiment in Italy in World War I.
His book, Organization and Insignia of the American Expeditionary Forces, 1917-1923 received the Army Historical Foundation award for excellence in writing.