Retired Major Richard Ojeda II is a West Virginian veteran, educator, as well as current state Senator representing portions of Logan, Boone, Lincoln and parts of Wayne and Mingo Counties. After graduation from Logan High School in 1988, he enlisted in the US Army and was trained as an engineer where he served in the only Airborne Bridge Unit on the world. A steadfast soldier and warrior academic, Ojeda graduated and received his commission to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant from West Virginia State College as a commissioned Engineering Officer in 1997 with orders to serve at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
In 2004, Captain Ojeda assumed command of a company in the 20th Engineer Brigade (Combat-Airborne) and immediately deployed with them to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Immediately following the combat deployment Captain Ojeda was given a second command of Delta Company, 37th Engineer Battalion. In 2007, Major Ojeda would return to Iraq with the 20th Engineer Brigade as the Chief of Operations of the Theater Engineers responsible for the operations of over 7000 subordinate engineers throughout the country of Iraq.
Major Ojeda served across the globe in nations including Germany, South Korea, Afghanistan, and Iraq. In addition, Major Ojeda is the first American Officer selected to attend the Chilean Commando Scuba Course and served as an Operations Officer during Operation Unified Response that was the humanitarian response to the 2010 Haitian Earthquake. In 2010, Major Ojeda volunteered to deploy to Afghanistan as a combat advisor with the 10th Mountain Division in support of Operation Enduring Freedom where he mentored over 1200 Afghan Police.
Following his overseas service, Major Ojeda turned his attention to West Virginia where he served as the Executive Officer overseeing Army recruiting from Beckley, WV to Virginia Beach. While in his last few years, Major Ojeda and a few local residents established the Logan Empowerment Action and Development Community Organization (LEAD), and served as an educator of JROTC at Chapmanville High School.
Major Ojeda holds degrees from West Virginia State University and Webster University. He has completed and graduated from numerous military courses to include the Command General Staff College. He has been awarded numerous medals (listed below) and is also pending the Purple Heart for injuries sustained while conducting operations in Iraq. In addition, Major Ojeda is a Master Rated Parachutist who has earned the Sapper Tab, the Air Assault Badge and was awarded the Combat Action Badge for actions against enemy forces.
Ojeda currently resides in Logan WV while serving as a standing West Virginia State Senator in the 7th Senatorial District, living with his spouse Kelly Ann Wismer Ojeda, and their two children, Richard III, and Kayla Lavon.