The United States Army recently conducted the selection process for all officers eligible for promotion to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In the end, 61 Engineer officers across the U.S. Army was chose and Major Richard Ojeda II of Holden was one of those making the selection list.
Major Ojeda has served in numerous leadership capacities to include four deployments to the Middle East with two of them serving as commander of a company for Operation Iraqi Freedom and a Security Forces Assistance Team Chief in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. He has completed duty assignments in Germany and South Korea and has other deployments to Jordan, Honduras and occupied both roles as the Operations Officer and the Executive Officer for the 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division during Operation Unified Response which was the first military forces on the ground immediately following the devastating earthquake that rocked the small island nation of Haiti in 2010 killing well over 250,000 and leaving over one million homeless and in desperate need of medical care.
Major Ojeda holds a Masters Degree in Business and Organizational Security from Webster University and a Bachelors Degree in General Education from West Virginia State University. He is a graduate of the Command General Staff College, The Combined Arms Service Staff School, The Engineer Advanced and Basic Officer Courses, The Air Movement Course, The Sapper Leader Course, The Master Jumpmaster Course, The Advanced Airborne (Jumpmaster) Course, The Air Assault Course and the Basic Airborne Course and was the first American Officer to be selected to attend the Chilean Commando Scuba Course.
His awards and decorations include two Bronze Star Medals, The Meritorious Service Medal, seven Army Commendation Medals, five Army Achievement Medals, The Good Conduct Medal, The National Defense Medal with bronze star device, The Afghan Campaign Medal with two bronze star devices, The Iraqi Campaign Medal with two bronze star devices, The Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, The Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, The Humanitarian Service Medal, The Korean Defense Service Medal, The Armed Forces Service Medal, The Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal and the NATO Medal. He is a recipient of the Engineer Regiments De Fleury Medal, the Combat Action Badge, The Master Parachutist Badge, The Air Assault Badge, and The Sapper Tab. He also holds foreign badges and marksmanship awards from seven other countries.
Major Ojeda is a two-time recipient of the Distinguished Mountaineer Award by governor’s Manchin (2005) and Tomblin (2012). Major Ojeda was also Senator Manchin’s recent guest for the 2013 Presidential State of the Union Address. Major Ojeda has been captured in two art prints by U.S. Army Officer and professional artist, Michael Solovey in prints titled “Let’s Go” for the 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division and a print titled “The Backbone” paying tribute to the Non Commissioned Officer Corps of which Major Ojeda belonged to before he made the transition to the officer ranks. Major Ojeda’s military experience has recently been documented in a documentary called “The Voices of War” and a book titled “Common Valor”, both by author Eric Douglas which also feature U.S. Marine, World War II veteran and Congressional Medal of Honor winner Woody Williams.
Major Ojeda is the President of the Logan Empowerment, Action and Development (LEAD) Community Organization which is a volunteer organization that works with other groups throughout the county and parts of Southern West Virginia to assist those in need and promote community awareness and involvement. Major Ojeda, a member of the Word of Life Church, is married to the former Kelly Ann Wismer of Wilkinson. They have two children, Richard III who is a student of Logan High School and Kayla who is a student at Logan Middle School.