On Aug. 2, Wisconsin Dells native, Joseph J. Van Wie was promoted to the rank of Lt. Col. in the Air National Guard. He is a graduate of Wisconsin Dells High School and attended the University of North Dakota completing a degree in Aeronautics. Van Wie began his 22 year military career with the United States Marine Corps Reserve, Golf Company 2/24, in Madison, as an infantry man. Van Wie transitioned to the Air National Guard receiving his commission in 2004 and went to fly as a KC-135 Instructor Pilot with the 128th Air Refueling Wing in Milwaukee.
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He is currently assigned to the Alabama Air National Guard as an RC-26B Aircraft Commander. Lt. Col. Van Wie's awards include the Meritorious Service Medal with two silver oak leaf clusters, Air Force Achievement Medal, and the Air Force Commendation Medal. Van Wie has served on numerous deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. He has logged over 1,300 flight hours on 259 missions in direct support of coalition forces over the skies of Iraq and Afghanistan.