Wisconsin Reservist Named One of Military's
his life, Maj. Joseph Almodovar has never been one to let anything
keep him down or prevent him from achieving his goals in life. As
a youngster, Almodovar, a reservist with the 440th Airlift Wing, Gen.
Mitchell International Airport Air Reserve Station, Wis., was raised
in what he describes as a challenging barrio on the north
side of Chicago. Despite all of the difficulties that kind of environment
presented, he overcame them all to forge a successful career in the
All of his hard work paid off in May when Almodovar earned distinction
as one of the top 12 Hispanics in Americas armed forces for
2002. He received the recognition from National Image Inc. during
its 14th annual Salute to Hispanics in the Military awards banquet
in Las Vegas May 30.
Image is an organization based in Denver that is dedicated to dealing
with education, employment and civil rights issues affecting the nations
Alberto S. Rocha, chairman of the organization, said the awards recognize
the best of the best among Hispanic Americans inuniform.
Our community has always been, and continues to be, willing
to pay the price to keep America free and strong, Rocha said.
Almodovar said he is proud to be part of that rich tradition.
During the early part of Almodovars life, his family lived in
a working-class neighborhood in Chicago that had its share of urban
problems, including poor schools.
We moved out of there into more of a middle-class area around
the time I was in the fifth grade, he said. The educational
opportunities were much better. After high school, Almodovar
enlisted in the Marine Corps. He left the Marines in 1979 and served
with the Air Force Reserves 928th Tactical Airlift Group at
OHare Air Reserve Station in Chicago from 1980 to 1984. In 1988,
he joined the Army National Guard and earned a commission. Almodovar
went back to the 928th in 1994 and moved to his current position
he serves as chief of finance and accounting services for the 440th
The military has opened doors of opportunity for me, and I feel
blessed, said Almodovar, who as a civilian works for the A.T.
Kearney Co. as its director of global human information systems. The
only way I can feel fulfilled is to give back to America, especially
the Hispanic community.
And give back he does. Almodovar is a former executive vice president
for the National Society of Hispanic MBAs. He raises funds for the
Summer Enrichment Program in Chicago, a program that prepares Hispanic
high school students for college entrance exams and application processes,
job interviews, and more. He has also served on the Sears and Roebuck
corporate diversity council and was a founding member and first president
of the Kraft Foods Hispanic Employee Council.
Within the 440th AW, Almodovar serves as chairman of the Human Resources
I do all these things because I believe there a huge amount
of untapped potential in the Hispanic community, Almodovar said.
(Information for this story provided by Lt. Col. Ken Warren, 920th
Rescue Group public affairs, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., and Capt.
Ann Peru Knabe, 440th AW public affairs)