Retired Major Richard Ojeda II is a West Virginian veteran, and educator. 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 around 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 resided 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.
A few of Richard’s military awards include:
- 2 Bronze Star Medals
- 2 Meritorious Service Medals
- 7 Army Commendation Medals
- 5 Army Achievement Medals
A list of other badges and awards that he has earned are:
- The Master Parachutist Badge
- The Air Assault Badge
- The Combat Action Badge
- The Sapper Tab
|Jordan Ray Bridges
|Paula Jean Swearengin
Positions & Areas Of Interest
Taxes– Ojeda has been outspokenly in favor or raising taxes on the rich and corporations specifically on coal and gas corporations that were prominent in his home state of West Virginia.
Legalization and Decriminalization- Ojeda has been passionate about cannabis law reform calling for legalization of marijuana and the granting of clemency for those incarcerated for possession charges. He has leaned more conservative on other issues such as sex work taking aim at websites such as backpage and skipthegames for their roles in the unregulated industry. Ojeda also has business interests in a CBD company, cdboils.com.
Healthcare– Ojeda has been a supporter for Medicare For All. He has also asserted that those in Congress and the president should not be allowed to have extra insurance while in office, having to rely on the healthcare afforded to the everyday American citizen in the hopes that this would provide incentive to maintain and improve the quality of universal healthcare policies.
Pharmaceutical Industry & The Opioid Epidemic– Ojeda has opposed companies in the pharmaceutical industry with strong criticism about their roles in the growth of the opioid epidemic in the US.