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Commander Joe Waidelich

Commander Waidelich, a native of North Brunswick, New Jersey, graduated from the University of Maryland in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting.  He reported to Officer Candidate School (OCS) in January of 2008 at Naval Station Newport and received his commission in April of 2008.  He was designated a Naval Flight Officer (NFO) at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola in June of 2010. 

Post earning his wings of gold, he received orders to the east coast Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) and reported to the GLADIATORS of Strike Fighter Squadron ONE ZERO SIX (VFA-106).  Following initial FRS training, Commander Waidelich reported to the BLACKLIONS of Strike Fighter Squadron TWO THIRTEEN (VFA-213) at NAS Oceana and deployed twice aboard USS GEORGE H. W. BUSH (CVN 77) in support of Operations NEW DAWN (OND), ENDURING FREEDOM (OEF) and INHERENT RESOLVE (OIR).  While assigned to VFA-213, he served as Legal Officer, Operations Administrative Officer, Avionics and Armament Division Officer, Air to Surface Weapons Training Officer and earned his qualification as a Forward Air Controller (Airborne).

Commander Waidelich was selected for instructor duty and returned to VFA-106 in September of 2014 where he served as the Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures Standardization (NATOPS) Officer, Close Air Support (CAS) Program Manager and Strike Phase Head.  He was VFA-106’s nominee for the 2016 Commander Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic (CSFWL) Weapons Systems Officer of the Year and performed with the Navy’s Super Hornet Tactical Demonstration Team for the 2016 and 2017 airshow seasons.

Following instructor duty, Commander Waidelich reported to SEAL Team FIVE (ST-5) in San Diego in August of 2017 as the Fires Support Officer.  During this time, Commander Waidelich deployed to Iraq in support of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE (OIR).  Upon returning home, he received his Joint Terminal Attack Controller Instructor (JTAC-I) upgrade.

After his Fires Support Officer tour, Commander Waidelich reported to the FIGHTING SWORDSMEN of Strike Fighter Squadron THREE TWO (VFA-32) in Virginia Beach in August of 2020 for his Department Head tour.  He served as the Safety Officer during their deployment aboard USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN 69) supporting OIR and OEF and as the Operations Officer as the squadron prepared for their next phase of work-ups.  Commander Waidelich reported to Singapore Area Coordinator in April of 2023.

Commander Waidelich has accumulated over 1,700 flight hours and 300 arrested landings in the F/A-18F Super Hornet.  His personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Strike/Flight Air Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various other medals, unit and campaign awards.

Last Updated: 15 April 2024

 

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