Who is Joe?

Joe Le, 20, was an aspiring graphics design artist who loved the outdoors and was dedicated to helping others who crossed his path. Unfortunately, during a hiking trip to the Bridge to Nowhere in the mountains above Azusa, he slipped and was swept away by the San Gabriel River on April 1, 2011. Victoria Le (Joe’s sister) founded this organization in honor of her little brother.

What does the group do? Why?

Our mission is to offer assistance and resources to emergency response personnel and to families in the search of their missing loved ones. We realize that often, due to lack of time, protocol, or resource constraints, authorities may have to call off searches or re-prioritize efforts, which leaves families with nowhere to turn. This is where we come in. It is our wish to give back to the community that selflessly dedicated so much time and effort into locating Joe Le.

How do I become a “Joe”?

Download the 2015-GIJ-Volunteer-Intake-Application.pdf (147 downloads) . Fill it out and e-mail it to info@gijoesar.org or mail it in to 6040 Acero, Mission Viejo, CA 92691.

Are there any minimum requirements to becoming a “Joe”?

We absolutely do not turn down kind hearts. If you do not possess the physical strength necessary to tackle harsh terrain but have a special skill, we will place you where you will perform best and can be of greatest benefit to our efforts.

I don’t want to be in the field. Can I help in any other way?

Yes! Being a Joe isn’t confined to going out into the field for training and missions. We can always use help within Public Relations, Marketing, Accounting and other important aspects of our organization.

How is G.I. Joe Search and Rescue different than other Search and Rescue teams?

We are activated upon the request of families as well as assisting law enforcement at their request.

What certification/training has the G.I. Joe SAR team acquired?

All of the Joes are CPR/First Aid certified (by American Red Cross standards). Many of the Joes have military background and perform monthly and routine trainings/outings with the group. Many of our volunteers have received Search and Rescue certification (SARTECH II) by the National Association of Search and Rescue (NASAR). Our team has also attended courses offered by SARCity, an annual Search and Rescue training set up by the Barstow Desert Rescue Squad, in conjunction with the San Bernardino County Sheriff, OES, Barstow College and more than 100 instructors who volunteer their time and expertise.

Where does G.I. Joe Search and Rescue provide assistance?

We are based in south Orange County but will travel hundreds of miles to help families in their time of need. Some of our earliest efforts involved deploying volunteers to Kern County, four hours away from our base. We are dedicated to expanding our network of volunteers throughout the region so that we can respond quickly to pleas for help throughout southern California.