Colonel Justin T. Wagner, is the Vice Wing Commander, 185th Air Refueling Wing. He is responsible for training and equipping the nearly 1000 Airmen for prompt mobilization during federal and state operations, ensuring maximum combat readiness operational deployments, HHQ inspections and Joint Force Exercises.
Colonel Wagner entered military service in May 1994, receiving his commission in June 1999 as a graduate of the Academy of Military Science, McGhee-Tyson Air National Guard Base, Knoxville, Tenn. He has served in numerous roles within his home state of Iowa. During his career at the 185th Air Refueling Wing, he served as the Officer in Charge of various sections within the Force Support Squadron, which included Base Education and Training, Customer Service, and the Mission Support Flight; promoting up to the position of Commander, 185th Force Support Squadron. Colonel Wagner then joined the 132nd Fighter Wing in Des Moines, Iowa and later served as the J-1, Director of Manpower and Personnel, Joint Planning Group (JPG), Joint Forces Headquarters (JFHQ), later becoming Vice Chief of Staff—Sustainment. Col Wagner was then named as the Chief of Staff, Joint Planning Group, Iowa and led the state’s joint Domestic Operations response for the COVID-19 pandemic. Colonel Wagner is a fully qualified joint officer placing him in the top 10% of Air National Guard officers.
In 2011, Colonel Wagner deployed to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM where he embedded within the 101st Airborne and 1st Calvary Divisions. In 2018, he was handpicked to lead the largest Domestic Operations international exercise in the history of Kosovo. During 2019-2020, he served as Senior Forward Air Reserve Component Advisor to Central Command (CENTCOM) for nine Middle Eastern countries in support of Operations FREEDOM SENTINEL, RESOLUTE SUPPORT, INHERENT RESOLVE, and ENDURING FREEDOM earning him “Top Air Reserve Component Advisor in CENTCOM”. Prior to his current position, the Colonel was the Mission Support Group Commander, 138th Fighter Wing, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
1996 Bachelor of Arts degree in Education, Briar Cliff University, Sioux City, Iowa
1999 Academy of Military Science, McGhee-Tyson Air National Guard Base, Knoxville, Tenn.
2001 Master of Arts in School District Administration, Wayne State University, Wayne, Neb.
2006 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2009 Master Degree in Educational Administration, Wayne State University, Wayne, Neb.
2012 Master of Military Operational Art and Science, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2014 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2017 Dual Status Commander Course, US NORTHCOM, Colorado Springs, Colo.
2017 Joint Operations Center Training Course, US NORTHCOM, Colorado Springs, Colo.
2017 Joint Task Force Staff Training Course, Colorado Springs, Colo.
2017 Joint Commanders Training Course, US NORTHCOM, Colorado Springs, Colo.
2018 Joint Reception, Staging, Onward, Inward Training Course, Des Moines, Iowa
2019 Joint Combined Warfighter School, Alexandria, Va.
2022 Education Specialist Degree, University of South Dakota, Vermillion, South Dakota
1. June 1999—October 2002, Officer in Charge, Base Education and Training, 185th Air Refueling Wing, Sioux City, Iowa
2. October 2002—November 2008, Officer in Charge, Customer Service, 185th Air Refueling Wing, Sioux City, Iowa
3. November 2008—October 2009, Officer in Charge, Mission Support Flight, 185th Air Refueling Wing, Sioux City, Iowa
4. October 2009—October 2011, Officer in Charge, Manpower and Personnel Flight, 185th Air Refueling Wing, Sioux City, Iowa (February 2011—September 2011, Action Officer, Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan)
5. October 2011—November 2014, Commander, Force Support Squadron, 185th Air Refueling Wing, Sioux City, Iowa
6. May 2020—March 2022, Commander, Mission Support Group, 138th Fighter Wing, Tulsa, Okla.
7. March 2022—Present, Vice Wing Commander, 185th Air Refueling Wing, Sioux City, Iowa
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. November 2014—September 2017, J-1, Director of Manpower and Personnel, Joint Forces Headquarters, Iowa, as a Lieutenant Colonel
2. September 2017—December 2018, Vice Chief of Staff—Sustainment, Joint Forces Headquarters, Iowa, as a Colonel
3. December 2018—May 2020, Chief of Staff, Joint Forces Headquarters, Iowa (July 2019—January 2020, Senior Air Reserve Component Advisor to CENTCOM), as a Colonel
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal
Army Commendation Medal
Joint Service Achievement Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal
Joint Meritorious Unit Award with oak leaf cluster
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with device
Humanitarian Service Medal
Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with gold border
2006 Selected as Outstanding Contributor at Squadron Officer School
2014 Disney Award for Top Dining Facility Nationwide
2014 Wing Field Grade Officer of the Year
2020 Top Air Reserve Component Advisor to CENTCOM
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant June 18, 1999
First Lieutenant June 18, 2001
Captain July 15, 2003
Major July 15, 2007
Lieutenant Colonel Oct. 5, 2012
Colonel Dec. 7, 2016
(Current as of September 2022)