Etcetera - 4/3/13

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Walla Walla Valley residents will see a new face with the Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office as Christopher “Chris” Johnson becomes its newest deputy.

A resident here for nearly two decades, Chris graduated at the top of his class March 19 from the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission’s Basic Law Enforcement Academy in Burien. He received many honors, including the No. 1 overall graduate award, Sheriff John Turner said in a release.

The Walla Walla High School alum concurrently earned a bachelor’s in political science from the University of Idaho as well as the rank of ensign in the U.S. Navy.

A naval aviator, he served at Naval Air Station Pensacola. Then because of force reductions, he was released from active duty into the Naval Reserve.

He transferred to the U.S. Marine Corps in 2007 and that October went to Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va. Following graduation from The Basic School there in July 2008, he completed the Armored Officers Basic Course at Fort Knox, Ky., in December 2008 and was assigned to Company B, 4th Tank Battalion, 4th Marine Division in Yakima.

As a mobile security detachment platoon commander, he deployed with Company B in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. His platoon completed or supported 59 combat missions throughout Iraq’s Al-Anbar and Nineveh provinces.

He returned in September 2009 and became executive officer with Company B. Deploying to Afghanistan in January 2011, he served as advisor to the Chief of Staff for Afghan National Army Development. He arrived at Camp Eggers, Kabul, Afghanistan, in April 2011, assumed command of the Afghan National Army Directorates pool of linguists and became mission security coordinator for all combat missions conducted by the Directorate.

He coordinated and led 53 combat missions throughout the Kabul and Paktia provinces. He was promoted and currently is commanding officer of Company B.

The sheriff said once Chris came home from Afghanistan, he began working as a sheriff’s office court security officer at the Walla Walla County Courthouse.

The sheriff’s office hired him in August 2012 as a deputy sheriff and he began his law enforcement training.

“In the past two years of (Basic Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Training Commission Corrections Officer) academy graduates, the WWSO has enjoyed two No. 1 graduates, one No. 2 graduate and one No. 3 graduate.

“These are great jobs and tremendous accomplishments by these new employees serving our county,” the sheriff said.

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