Puckett named VNG command chief warrant officer

Chief Warrant Officer 5 Joseph W. Puckett

RICHMOND, Va. — Chief Warrant Officer 5 Joseph W. Puckett has been named as the Virginia National Guard’s new Command Chief Warrant Officer, according to an announcement made Jan. 24, 2019, by Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia. The assignment is effective April 1, 2019, and follows the pending retirement of current Chief Warrant Officer 4 Donald Unmussig.

“Chief Warrant Officer 4 Unmussig has provided outstanding leadership to the Warrant Officer Corps, and sage counsel to me on all related matters,” Williams wrote in the announcement. “His contributions to the Army logistics community and National Guard as a whole have been remarkable. We truly appreciate his dedication and sacrifice to our commonwealth and nation, and wish him the very best in retirement.”

Puckett currently serves as the state aviation standardization officer assigned the Army Aviation Support Facility in Sandston.

“Chief Warrant Officer 5 Puckett’s extensive experience throughout his many years of service, and his demonstrated leadership ability, make him uniquely qualified for this critical assignment,” Williams wrote. “He has ably served at all tactical levels, as well as at the NGB school house level, and most recently as the JFHQ-VA standardization officer. I have complete confidence that he will be a strong advocate for our warrant officer corps, and help propel our organization to new heights. Please join me in congratulating this deserving officer.”

Puckett served on active duty as an AH-1F Cobra helicopter crew chief in the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky from 1984 to 1987, then joined the Virginia National Guard and served as an infantry team leader from 1987 to 1989. He completed the Warrant Officer Candidate Course in 1989 and the initial entry rotary wing course at Fort Rucker in 1990.

After initially serving as a UH-60 Black Hawk pilot, he went on to serve as an aviation safety officer, UH-60 instructor pilot, aviation standardization pilot and a UH-60 platoon leader. He also cross trained and became certified to fly the UH-72 helicopter and served as a UH-72 platoon leader and standardization pilot. He served as an aviation standardization pilot for the Sandston-base 2nd Battalion, 224th Aviation Regiment from 2013 to 2015 before becoming the state aviation standardization officer in 2015.

His previous deployments include humanitarian support missions to Bolivia in 1999 and Guatemala in 2015, Southwest Border Support in 2014, SFOR-10 in Bosnia-Herzgovania from 2001 to 2002 and Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn in 2011.

Puckett has more than 5,200 total flight hours including more than 300 hours over imminent danger and combat time. He assisted in the development of the Army training program for the UH-72A Lakota aviator, crew member, and maintainer programs from 2005 to 2010.

His awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Army Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Aircraft Crewman Badge, the Master Army Aviator Badge and the Air Assault Badge. He completed a BS in aeronautics from Liberty University in December 2018.