Colonel Gregor J. Leist is the Commander of the Western Air Defense Sector (WADS), Washington Air National Guard, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. As the commander, he is responsible for peacetime air sovereignty, strategic air defense, and airborne counterdrug operations in the continental United States west of the Mississippi River. WADS detects, identifies, tracks and can scramble fighters to intercept unknown or threatening airborne objects as part of its mission to guard America's skies 24 hours a day, seven days a week, of nearly 73% of the United States and Canada.

Colonel Leist earned his commission through the Air Force ROTC program at the University of Portland in 1987. He served nine and a half years in the United States Air Force and six years in the Air Force Reserve, prior to joining the Air National Guard in 2004.

He is a Master Air Battle Manager and has flown in support of numerous real world operations and contingencies as an Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) crew member. He has commanded and deployed for contingency operations at various levels to include support of operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

He has served in the Oregon ANG in various command positions including 173d Mission Support Group Commander, 270th Air Traffic Control Squadron Commander, 116th Air Control Squadron Commander and Director of Joint Air Traffic Management ISAF Headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan. Prior to his current assignment, he was the Vice Commander, 173d Fighter Wing, Kingsley Field, Ore.


1987 - University of Portland, Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering, Portland, Ore.
1991 - Troy State University, Master of Science, International Relations, Troy, Ala.
1995 - Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala. (Distinguished Graduate)
2000 - University of Oklahoma, Master of Business Administration, Norman, Okla.
2004 - Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence
2005 - ANG Intermediate Leaders Course, McGee Tyson ANG Base, Tenn.
2008 - Air War College, by correspondence
2008 - ANG Commander Development Course, Andrews AFB, Md.
2009 - Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Ft. Lesley J. McNair, Washington D.C.
2009 - National Defense University, Master of Science, National Resource Strategy, Ft. Lesley J. McNair, Washington D.C.

1. October 1988 - September 1990, Chief, Cost/Schedule Analysis, Air Force Armament Lab, Eglin AFB, Fla.
2. October 1990 - July 1991, Test Manager, Sensor Fused Weapon Program Office, Eglin AFB, Fla.
3. August 1991 - September 1992, student, Air Battle Manager training, 3625th Training Squadron, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
4. October 1992 - March 1994, Air Battle Manager, 964th Airborne Air Control Squadron (AACS), Tinker AFB, Okla.
5. April 1994 - October 1995, Senior Director/Chief of Scheduling, 964th AACS, Tinker AFB, Okla.
6. November 1995 - May 1996, Instructor Senior Director/Deputy Flight Commander 964 AACS, Tinker AFB, Okla.
7. June 1996 - April 1997, Flight Commander/Evaluator Senior Director, 964th AACS, Tinker AFB, Okla.
8. April 1997 - November 1997, Wing Evaluator Senior Director, 552d Air Control Wing, Tinker AFB, Okla.
9. December 1997 - May 2001, Deputy Chief, Group Standardization and Evaluation, 513th Air Control Group (AFRC) Tinker AFB, Okla.
10. June 2001 - May 2004, Assistant Professor of Aerospace Studies, AFROTC Det. 695 (AETC), Portland, Ore.
11. June 2004 - February 2008, Commander, 270th Air Traffic Control Squadron, Oregon ANG, Kingsley Field, Ore.
12. March 2008 - September 2011, Commander, 116th Air Control Squadron, Oregon ANG, Camp Rilea, Ore.
13. October 2009 - March 2011, Commander, Combat Operations Group, Oregon ANG, Portland ANGB. Ore.
14. September 2011 - September 2013, Commander, 173d Mission Support Group, Oregon ANG, Kingsley Field, Ore.
15. September 2013 - April 2015, Vice Commander, 173d Fighter Wing, Oregon ANG, Kingsley Field, Ore.
16. April 2015 - present, Commander, Western Air Defense Sector, Washington ANG, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.


Rating: Master Air Battle Manager
Flight hours: 3192 hours
Aircraft Flown: E-3 B/C


Bronze Star Medal
Meritorious Service Medal
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal
Joint Service Achievement Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal
Army Achievement Medal
Joint Meritorious Unit Award
AF Meritorious Unit Award
AF Outstanding Unit Award with Valor Device
AF Organizational Excellence Award
Combat Readiness Medal
AF Recognition Ribbon
National Defense Service Medal
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Southwest Asia Service Medal
Kosovo Campaign Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Iraq Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Armed Forces Service Medal
Humanitarian Service Medal
AF Overseas Ribbon - Short Tour
AF Overseas Ribbon - Long Tour
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border
AF Longevity Service
Armed Forces Reserve Medal with 5 'M' Devices
Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon
AF Training Ribbon
NATO Medal
Kuwait Liberation Medal - Government of Kuwait


Second Lieutenant May 1988
First Lieutenant May 1990
Captain May 1992
Major July 1999
Lieutenant Colonel Nov. 2004
Colonel Jan. 11, 2012

(current as of March 2016)