Air Force 1st Lt. Jennifer E. Weitekamp is a lifelong resident of Illinois and has been a member of the Illinois Air National Guard for nearly 18 years. She joined the Illinois Air National Guard as a member of the security forces squadron while still in high school and attended basic training the summer after graduation.
While working full-time and raising a family, she attended University of Illinois at Springfield and obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in psychology. Thereafter, she earned her Master of Education degree from the University of Illinois, Champaign. She received her commission in October 2015, and she resides in Athens, Illinois, with her husband, two sons and a daughter.
Weitekamp spent the first six and a half years of her military career in security forces. In 2001, she volunteered to attend the Air National Guard Counter Sniper School conducted by the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center, Camp Joseph T. Robinson, North Little Rock, Arkansas. This course was an established Army course, and the Air National Guard course was a pilot course. But Weitekamp was denied attendance because the course wasn’t open to women. However, a couple weeks before the start of the course, school officials decided to let her attend, and on April 14, 2001, she became the first woman to complete the only U.S. military sniper school open to women.
Also in 2001, Weitekamp was named the security forces airman of the quarter. During her time in security forces, she spent nearly three years on Title 10 active duty and deployed several times in support of Operation Noble Eagle and Operation Enduring Freedom.
In 2006, Weitekamp was recruited to the base legal office as a paralegal. In 2009, she was hired as a full-time federal technician, working as the remote designee, and she cross-trained to personnel. In this position, she was solely responsible for the administrative management of more than 250 full-time personnel.
Weitekamp then worked in the 183rd Air Operations Group commander’s support staff, responsible for the administrative management of more than 300 military members. While in this position, she applied and was selected to commission as the group commander’s executive officer. She is currently assigned as the supervisory human resources officer for the Illinois Human Resources Office. She supervises the employee relations section, human resources development and human resources information systems.
While enlisted, Weitekamp was the 2nd vice president for Chapter 1 of the Noncommissioned Officer Academy Graduate Association and the president of Chapter 75, Noncommissioned Officer Academy Graduate Association. This organization’s function is to support in-residence professional military education and to get as many enlisted interested in attending in-residence as possible.
She also brought the first satellite professional military education courses to the 183rd Fighter Wing, allowing unit members the opportunity to receive in-residence PME credit through distance learning combined with a shorter time away from home. She was the lead site facilitator for the program, which offered Airman Leadership School and Noncommissioned Officer Academy.
Weitekamp received the 183rd Fighter Wing’s 2012 Philip Quintenz Leadership Award, and in 2015, while working in the force support squadron, she was named as the honor guard member of the year.
She serves on her church’s safety team and volunteers during church clothing drives and special events. She also is active in the local community blood bank, donating as soon as she is eligible several times a year. Weitekamp is a life member of National Guard Association of the United States, Enlisted Association of The National Guard of the United States, National Guard Association of Illinois, and Veterans of Foreign Wars.