Major Joseph M. McCormick‚ North Carolina Air National Guard‚ of Taylors‚ South Carolina‚ was assigned to the 156th Airlift Squadron of the 145th Airlift Wing as an instructor pilot for the C-130H transport aircraft and chief of training. He was also the squadron publications officer‚ charged with ensuring the integrity of publications that have a direct impact on mission safety.
Major McCormick received a bachelor of science degree‚ magna cum laude‚ from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in 2003 with a major in professional aeronautics and minors in business administration and aviation safety. He was commissioned through the Academy of Military Science (the Air National Guard Commissioning Program)‚ where he was a distinguished graduate and received the Citizen-Soldier award. He also attended the Community College of the Air Force‚ focusing on technical and avionics training. After completion of C-130H Initial Co-Pilot Training‚ he joined the N.C. Air National Guard as a co-pilot‚ and later completed Aircraft Commander Training. He deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (in Afghanistan)‚ accumulating more than 200 combat flying hours. As an enlisted man he had served with the South Carolina Air National Guard from 1996 to 2000 as an F-16 Electrical/Environmental System Mechanic.
Major McCormick was awarded the Air Medal with one device‚ the Air Force Achievement Medal and the Air Force Combat Action Medal‚ as well as campaign and expeditionary awards.
Major McCormick was killed on July 1‚ 2012‚ in the crash of the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS) 7 mission to fight wildfires in South Dakota. He was 36 years old and leaves behind his wife‚ Heather‚ and four children‚ Luke‚ Thomas‚ Henry‚ and Margaret.