KRTV’s Shannon Newth created the Five Under 35 initiative as a way to recognize young adults in Great Falls whose attitudes and actions are making our community an even better place to live. This is the seventh year recognizing young adults in the Great Falls community. Out of about 50 nominations this year, the final five have been selected.
The third honoree of 2020 is described as someone with “unmatched character” and an “inspiring heart for other” by those who nominated him.
“For me, I had the choice and I’m so glad I chose Great Falls.”
Nuclear Missile Operations Launch Officer Lt. Joshua Diegel picked Malmstrom Air Force Base as his first base of preference. Ever since arriving in Great Falls a year and half ago, he’s served others in his squadron and in his community.
“I like to think that I approach a lot of my life whether it’s a work or just how I carry myself, I like to approach other people with the mentality of servant leadership. So for me that means, in what ways can I remove barriers to your success,” explained Diegel.
The 26-year-old Wisconsin native didn’t always have his sights set on the military. In fact, he went to school for hotel management and business administration.
“Initially the Air Force for me was going to be a four year, check the box and serve my country and then move back to hospitality,” Diegel said.
He loves his work and says he gets excited to provide strategic deterrence for the United States.
“There is a negative stereotype that goes along with missiles, but I really enjoy combatting that,” Diegel explained.
When he’s not on alert for work, he’s volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. It’s something he’s done for years. It gets him out of his comfort zone, while also giving back to Great Falls.
“I just think it’s a really cool opportunity to give back to the community that I feel gives the base so much,” Diegel said.
As part of the Five Under 35 program, each honoree is asked two questions, meant to put conversation and thought in our community. Those two questions are:
- What does Great Falls have going for it?
- How can Great Falls improve?
Diegel said he loves and appreciates the location of Great Falls and that it is easy to travel across the state to ski, camp and hike.
He is excited about the growth he has seen downtown in just the year and a half he has been in Great Falls: “I think that the downtown area has so much potential for growth and it’s being acted upon in ways I think me and my peers are recognizing and my friends are taking advantage of, so that I really like about Great Falls,” explained Diegel.
He said the challenge then is to get people his age to recognize that growth and the strengths of downtown. Diegel added that downtown can continue to improve by providing more outdoor space and events.