After 35 years serving in the military, U.S. Air Force Col. Wistaria “Wiz” Joseph is retiring from her post as U.S. Transportation Command director.
Joseph, originally from St. Thomas, joined the U.S. Air Force in 1986, and worked as a personnel specialist at Peterson Air Force Base. In 1993, Joseph graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo., with a degree in business management, while also initiating her officer career.
During the next 27 years, she served at 11 different installations, including Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada; Travis Air Force Base, California; Dover Air Force Base, Delaware; Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma; Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii; Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates; Dyess Air Force Base, Texas and the Pentagon. She has served in more than 15 manpower and personnel leadership positions — including three command tours of duty — at squadron, group, wing, headquarters Air Force and joint staff levels. For more than three years, she has led the USTRANSCOM’s Manpower and Personnel Directorate, TCJ1, which administers military and civilian workforce plans, policies, programs, organization and management.
Seeking to enhance civilian employment processes, Joseph implemented a collaboration with the Defense Logistics Agency on a human resources hiring pilot that began in early 2019. So far, the partnership has seen a 300 percent increase in hires and a 65 percent decrease in hiring timelines from 228 to 79 days. In addition, Joseph spearheaded a reorganization of the directorate in tandem with developing and executing an internal HR strategy. Following the identification of core values of empowerment, ownership, professional competence, innovation, and care, TCJ1 organized a strategy to produce robust human capital solutions for the command.
Additionally, as chair of USTRANSCOM’s Human Capital Board, Joseph has provided the means for the command to utilize human capital resources in supporting the organization’s priorities, including the Defense Personal Property Program, Transportation Management System, and Global Operations Center.
Another emphasis area for Joseph has been strengthening the capacity and capability of the TCJ1 enterprise. In spring 2017, the USTRANSCOM Commander, retired U.S. Air Force Gen. Darren McDew, hired Joseph to lead the command’s Manpower and Personnel Directorate’s renovation, reinvigoration, and resurgence.
“Col. Joseph brought the right blend of leadership, compassion, and strategic vision to USTRANSCOM. Thanks very much, Wiz, for your decades of service!” McDew stated.
As the airman chapter of her life concludes, Joseph looks forward to the next stage, but some holdovers from her Air Force career — serving others and helping people succeed — will have a significant role in her subsequent professional and personal endeavors.
“I am thankful for my experience and thankful for my journey we’ve experienced together to create an even more dynamic, lethal and agile fighting force. Remember, we’re all on the same team and want personal and mission success for everyone,” Joseph said. “If there is one weak link, then the house will never remain stable. Help each other, support each other, advocate for each other, and most importantly, care for each other.”
Originally scheduled for August, Joseph’s retirement ceremony will be conducted on Friday, Sept. 11.