Josh Thiel, who graduated from Westside in 1996, graduated from West Point in 2000 with a major in economics and a minor in systems engineering. Upon graduation, he entered active duty service in the U.S. Army. He graduated from Ranger, Sapper, Pathfinder and the Special Forces Qualification Course in 2005 and has attended several other military courses. In his first 17 years in the military, he earned advanced degrees from American Military University and the Naval Postgraduate School. He has conducted operational deployments to Papua New Guinea, Iraq, Thailand, Malaysia, Afghanistan, the Philippines and Korea. As a lieutenant colonel, Thiel is the Battalion Commander for 3rd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Washington. In 2018, he redeployed to Afghanistan where he commanded all Special Forces units.