Captain (Sep.) Joseph McElveen took the leadership skills he learned during his time in service and used them to create a successful career. McElveen earned a commission upon graduating as a Distinguished Air Force Graduate from The Citadel, Charleston, S.C. in 1968. From there he went on to graduate law school and entered the Air Force in 1972, as a First Lieutenant.
After two months of training, McElveen arrived at his first and only duty station, Shaw Air Force Base, S.C. While assigned to the 363rd Combat Support Group, he worked as the Staff Judge Advocate and investigated several sonic boom claims.
During his time at Shaw AFB he was mobilized to Seymour Johnson, AFB in Goldsboro, N.C., in support of an exercise which he recalled as his favorite experience from his time in the military. In 1975, two years after being promoted to Captain, he was honorably discharged.
McElveen is now in his 15th year as the Mayor of Sumter, S.C., where he oversees a $60 million budget and more than 600 employees.