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130th Cyber Operations Officer becomes Chief Technology Officer for West Virginia

Spence, WVANG,

1st Lt. Joshua Spence, a Cyber Operations Officer assigned to the 130th Communications Flight, stands with his wife in 2018. (Courtesy Photo)

McLaughlin Air National Guard Base, W.Va. -- Citizen-Airman.

Definition: Men and women who live their day-to-day lives as a regular citizen, yet are still assigned to a military unit providing operation capability ensuring unrivaled air, space and cyber dominance in support of their assigned states’ national guard and the Air Force as a whole.

1st. Lt. Joshua Spence, a Cyber Operations Officer for the 130th Communication Flight (CF), represents the definition of a Citizen-Airman to the core.

“He has worked extremely hard to polish those learned skills to become successful in the civilian sector and  he continually uses that expertise to train unit members and improve the overall capability of the unit,” said Lt. Col. Stacey Shade, 130th Communications Flight Commander. “Relationships like these, where everyone benefits, is one of the keys to why the National Guard plays such a huge role in our state today. 

Spence’s duties include assisting the unit commander in leadership activities of running a comm flight and providing guidance and oversight for key cyber functions.

Thats only his “Airman” side, for the “Citizen” side of his life, he recently obtained a very important and critical role in state government.

Spence’s role is the Chief Technology Officer for the state of West Virginia.

“I am responsible for leading the strategic direction of technology for the state,” explained Spence. “The agency provides enterprise technology services to over 200 agencies in the Executive Branch.”

Getting to one of the highest cyber/technology positions that West Virginia has to offer didn’t happen overnight. When Spence initially began his military career in September 2000, he was an enlisted member of the 130th Security Forces Squadron.

“I chose my career based on guidance from a close friend, honestly I didn’t even know about the Air Guard until he brought me up to see a recruiter,” Spence said. “I had been in Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and part of their Ranger Challenge program, so I chose Security Forces because I was interested in receiving ground combat training and weapons training.”

Later in his career, Spence got the chance to cross-train into the 130th Communications Flight, and that is where he found his true calling.

Spence holds a Master’s of Science in Technology Management, a Bachelor’s in Political Science and many certifications including Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Ethical Hacker and Certified Incident Handler, to name a few.

To no surprise, Spence commissioned in 2016 and has stayed with the 130th CF since. This would pave the way to his current position of the state government.

"My military career has provided me opportunities to advance my education, gain valuable experience, and make lifelong friendships,” Spence explained. “The tuition assistance program is an amazing program West Virginia provides to our National Guard.”

19 years of continued service and counting, a Meritorious Service Medal, multiple Air Force Commendation Medals and an Air Force Achievement Medal are just a glimpse into what Spence’s career has brought forth for the 130th.

Spence has 19 years of continued service and counting. His Meritorious Service Medal, multiple Air Force Commendation Medals and Air Force Achievement Medal are not only a small glimpse into his successful career, but his service to the 130th as well.
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