Captain Joseph Nolan serves with 106th Rescue Wing at Gabreski Air National Guard Base
Massapequa resident and Air National Guard Captain Joseph Nolan has been named Company Grade Officer of the Year for the 5,900-member New York Air National Guard.
Nolan, who serves in the 106th Medical Group of the 106th Rescue Wing, is a full-time medical administrative officer.
During the past year, he has played a key role in the wing’s participation in the New York National Guard COVID-19 response mission.
The Company Grade Officer of the Year Award is presented to a junior officer who exhibits outstanding leadership abilities, job performance and personal achievement which sets them apart from their peers.
Nolan competed with nominees from four other New York Air National Guard wings and the Eastern Air Defense Sector for the honor.
The 106th Rescue Wing, based at Gabreski Air National Guard Base in Westhampton Beach, operates the HC-130J Combat King II search and rescue aircraft and the HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopter and is home to a special warfare squadron, specializing in rescue and recovery. The wing is also supporting COVID-19 response missions.
Nolan has been extremely versatile and unselfish as displayed by the myriad of jobs and tasks that he did over the last year ranging from wing public affairs, moving back to the Medical Corps and being a leader on the COVID mission,” said Colonel Shawn Fitzgerald, commander of the 106th Rescue Wing.
“I’m proud that all of his hard work and dedication were recognized at the state level and I’m excited to see where the future takes him as he continues his military career,” Fitzgerald added.
“It’s always nice to be recognized by your colleagues, but the fact is, it’s much more a reflection of the team I’m surrounded by,” Nolan said.
“I’m fortunate to be working under great leadership and have the best troops under my supervision-both here at the medical group and while I was assigned to the COVID mission,” Nolan added.
Nolan joined the New York Air National Guard in 2012 and was commissioned as a Medical Service Corps officer in 2013.
He initially served in the 109th Airlift Wing based in Scotia and transferred to the 106th Rescue Wing in 2019.
Nolan served briefly as a public affairs officer, supporting the COVID-19 mission, before moving into his current position.
Nolan also led more than 125 Airmen and Soldiers conducting testing, vaccinations and alternate care facility security missions and dealt with state and federal agencies as part of the COVID-19 mission.
Nolan developed a plan for training in combat casualty treatment for the wing’s Airmen and has planned for a 40 Airman medical training mission in Alaska.
Nolan also led the 2021 New York Operation Turkey Drop event for the wing, delivering free turkeys and Thanksgiving packages to underprivileged families.
Nolan has deployed as part of the response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, in support of operations in Afghanistan with the 779th Aeromedical Staging Squadron. He served as the officer in charge of the state COVID-19 vaccination site at Jones Beach and director of staff at the New York National Guard command post for operations on Long Island.
Being named the top junior officer in the New York Air National Guard puts Nolan in the running to compete against the other top officers from 53 other states and territories.
—Submitted by the New York Air National Guard