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Reservist in the Spotlight: Staff Sgt. Joshua Castorela

U.S. Air Force Reserve Staff Sgt. Joshua Castorela is a 720th Security Forces Squadron Citizen Airman and Tucson Police Department patrol officer who was recently recognized for heroism in the line of duty. He is set to deploy to the Dominican Republic with other defenders from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. (Photo illustration by Carolyn Herrick)

U.S. Air Force Reserve Staff Sgt. Joshua Castorela is a 720th Security Forces Squadron Citizen Airman and Tucson Police Department patrol officer who was recently recognized for heroism in the line of duty. He is set to deploy to the Dominican Republic with other defenders from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. (Photo illustration by Carolyn Herrick)

DAVIS MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. --

Ever since Staff Sgt. Joshua Castorela went on his first ride-along with a family friend, he knew that he wanted a career in law enforcement.

Castorela applied for several police departments but was told that he didn’t have any background or experience in law enforcement; so, he enlisted in the Air Force Reserve as a security forces Airman in 2009 to get his law enforcement career started.

“Security forces has helped me transition into civilian law enforcement by training me how to multitask and also handle stressful situations that may arise,” said Castorela.

Ironically, the Orange County native got picked up for active guard/reserve orders instead of heading straight into law enforcement; but, his dream finally came true in 2016 when he proudly joined the Tucson Police Department and transitioned to a traditional Reserve job with the 720th Security Forces Squadron at Davis Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.

“I like the fact that I’m able to help people,” said Castorela, a fire team leader for the 720th SFS. “It’s a very active job – and it’s never the same thing each day.”

In December 2016, he received a commendation award for de-escalating a situation at a call, just seven months after joining TPD. More recently, in the beginning of March, he resuscitated a person in cardiac arrest, saving his life.

“It feels good to know my job entails me being able to help people – whether it’s with personal issues they have or somebody’s unconscious or severely injured to the point they need CPR,” he said.

The Orange County native was already certified in First Aid and how to respond and provide medical care as an Airman in security forces – training which helped him successfully complete Police Academy Tucson. He said he is proud to both service the citizens of Tucson and also the Nation in the Air Force Reserve.

“I’m still glad that that I get to put the uniform on. I feel a sense of pride, honor, and commitment in serving the country,” he said.

His military supervisor, Tech. Sgt. Lori LeMay, said he is one of her go-to NCOs.

“I can always ask him for help,” said LeMay, who has known Castorela for years. They were both on active guard/reserve orders here, and she said his his careers “go hand in hand.”

“Integrity as an Airman is the same as the integrity you need in law enforcement,” she said. “It’s 24/7, 365.  We are proud of him and what he does a as civilian, and it reflects well on the unit and the Air Force, especially if people know he is dual status.”