All About Richland

Non-Commissioned Officer Of The Year For Ohio, Region Advances To National Competition

1 Mar , 2021  

Tech. Sgt. Joseph Leitz wins Non-commissioned Officer of the Year for Ohio and Regional level, advances to national competition.

Special to 1812Blockhouse

By Airman Grace Riegel, 179th Airlift Wing

Tech. Sgt. Joseph Leitz, a squad leader with the 179th Security Forces Squadron, was awarded Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year for the state of Ohio on January 9. Next, Leitz won the regional level of competition and will be advancing to the national level.

“I received a call today from Maj. Gen. James Camp” Leitz said, “He let me know that I had been selected as the winner at the regional level. It was pretty awesome that he called me personally to let me know. He told me this is the kind of thing that can really change your career path and that he was very proud to have an Ohioan moving on to represent us at the National Guard Bureau.”

Leitz has been in the Air Force since 2010. After serving a four-year active duty contract he transferred to the Ohio Air National Guard in February, 2014. Leitz said that 2020 was the most challenging year of his service.

“We all sign the contract, but we never really know how much we will be asked to serve,” said Leitz. “This year it was time to pay up and it all happened at once.”

During a deployment to CENTCOM in 2019, showing hard work and leadership abilities Leitz said he was unexpectedly moved into a team leader position. Leitz said this was a good experience in a leadership position he had not been in before. “I loved leading all the guys and girls,” said Leitz “I enjoyed being that go-to person.”

In April, 2020, Leitz was tasked to work with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections (ORDC) as an augmentee, providing relief to the corrections officers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

During civil unrest in June, he was activated to support local law enforcement in the city of Cleveland, to allow peaceful assembly of protestors while protecting public property.

Returning to support the ORDC, while working in the institution he was informed of his selection as the 179th Airlift Wing NCO of the year and continued serving the ORDC while competing at the state and regional levels. The year has been a challenging one and a rewarding one as well.

“This year has definitely gotten me more motivated,” said Leitz. “I can see my career progression and where I can end up if I continue to put in the time and hard work.”

NOTE: The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

Source, Photo: Defense Visual Information Distribution Service

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