Immediately following his high school graduation, J.C. took the Oath of Enlistment to the United States Air Force. After graduating from Basic Military Training in San Antonio, TX, he was assigned to the Air Force’s Air Combat Command Headquarters (ACCHQ) at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia. Griffin was tasked to the base’s Force Support Squadron (FSS) and rapidly deployed to Iraq in support of combat operations as a force readiness journeyman in 2008. During his active service, J.C. earned several merit and commendation awards to include the Iraq Campaign Medal with a Bronze Star, the Air Force’s Global War on Terrorism Medal (GWOT) and the Expeditionary Service Ribbon with a Gold Border for hazardous combat duty. Returning stateside in the spring of 2009, Griffin transferred into the Illinois Air National Guard (ILANG) and was admitted into the USAF’s Career Enlisted Aviation (CEA) program where he graduated in the top 5% of his flight school class. He earned his aeronautical rating on the C-130 aircraft as an aircrew loadmaster and was assigned to the Air Mobility Command (AMC) 182nd Airlift Wing in Peoria, IL. After completing several hundred hours of flight time conducting humanitarian and training operations, Griffin decided to conclude his military service achieving the rank of Senior Airman prior to receiving an honorable discharge form active service in 2012.
During his last year in the ILANG, J.C. was hired as a Brakeman for the Norfolk Southern Railroad Corporation (NSCORP). He was promoted to Conductor in 2011 and operated out of Chicago’s freight terminals. Griffin was selected for promotion again in 2012 to serve as the division’s Assistant Training Manager. This position required Griffin to move to the NS divisional headquarters in greater Detroit, MI. In that capacity, J.C. was responsible for overseeing the hiring, training, and corporate human capital investments of 5,200 Train & Engine (T&E) employees within the corporation’s Heartland Corridor (Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan).
With an interest in furthering his commitment to public service, Griffin returned home and pursued independent studies at the University of Chicago, Institute of Politics. During this time, Griffin began assisting in outreach efforts for state and municipal elections in south suburban Cook County. In the summer of 2013, Griffin accepted an opportunity to lead small business advocacy efforts within the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Department of Business & Workforce Diversity (OBWD) in Springfield, IL. Serving as the chief of the Bureau of Small Business Enterprises (SBE), Griffin led department efforts in ensuring federally mandated civil rights and inclusion programs were being administered and complied with on state transportation and federal highway infrastructure projects. In addition, he led efforts to ensure contractor compliance with the work force utilization goals, and labor wage laws and regulations. J.C. chaired the IDOT Small Business Advisory Council and oversaw the management of Illinois’ Disadvantage Business Enterprise (DBE) certification program and registry. Griffin also served as a leader in the implementation of HB3267 (DBE Working Capital Revolving Loan Program); a unique low-interest loan program that established by the Illinois General Assembly to provide funding of up to $3,000,000 to be used to provide capital necessary to finance project specific work, acquire valuable work experience, establish or rebuild credit lines and foster competition among contractors and subcontractors conducting infrastructural work with IDOT.
J.C. concluded his tenure at IDOT after serving as the Chief Administrative Officer at the Illinois Division of Aeronautics. In this capacity, he was responsible for overseeing the distribution of federal funds allocated for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP), in addition to coordinating support for land acquisition for the South Suburban Airport (SSA), also known as the Abraham Lincoln National Airport. JC directed department functions for the division’s finance, human resources, and grant management operations.
In spring 2015, Griffin began working for the Cook County’s Bureau of Asset Management as an aide to the director of the Department of Capital Planning & Policy. He assisted in the rollout and management of the annual Capital Improvement Program (CIP), to include the renovation of the County’s Council Chambers, the build-out and floor planning of the County’s new Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Management headquarters, and the historic Cook County Hospital Redevelopment Plan located in the city’s Illinois Medical District (IMD) community. Griffin also completed a congressional research fellowship in Illinois’ 5th congressional district focusing on education, immigration, and airport regulation and policy. In early spring 2017, J.C. commenced an Illinois statewide tour citing interest in a possible run for a statewide elected office. Griffin announced his candidacy for the office of the Illinois Secretary of State on November 11, 2017 (Veterans Day) as an acknowledgment and tribute to all of the Veterans that have and continue to serve and protect the United States. After nearly a year of campaigning against the maintenance of Illinois status quo led government, Griffin withdrew from the race for the Republican nomination and has since been focused on developing initiatives that address millennial and minority civic engagement, economic independence and mobility.
J.C. has participated in the advancement of knowledge on several college campuses within the United States. Elected to serve as a senator at North Park University in Chicago, IL, he became known on campus by students, faculty, and school administrators to lead discussions on transformative policies that inspired student engagement, inclusion, and leadership. Griffin continued and advanced his studies of politics and public policy at The University of Chicago, Institute of Politics. Griffin has also participated in non-degree studies at the University of Michigan, Institute of Teaching and Research Economics and international business development, political theory and governance studies at Yale’s School of Continued Education.
A member of the Chicago Council of Global Affairs, J.C. believes maintaining a strong national security in today’s world is a one of the most pressing issues of modern society. He earned his Bachelor’s degree majoring in Organizational Leadership and Management from North Park University and currently resides in Cook County, IL with his fiancée, and is a devoted father to a beautiful 3-year-old daughter. J.C. is also active within the Chicago community at-large and supports several non-for-profit organizations to include the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Council for Jewish Elderly (CJE) and Rotary International.
NORTH PARK UNIVERSITY, Professional Studies
B.A. Organizational Leadership & Management
UNIVERSITY of CHICAGO, Institute of Politics
Public Policy & Political Theory
AIR UNIVERSITY, U.S. Air Force College
Aviation Operations & Airfield Management
COOK COUNTY GOVERNMENT, Bureau of Asset Management
Aide to the Director of Capital Planning & Policy
ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Office of Business & Workforce Diversity
Bureau Chief, Bureau of Small Business Enterprises
ILLINOIS DIVISION OF AERONAUTICS
Bureau Chief, Administrative Services
UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
District Research Fellow (Education, Immigration, Aviation) Regulation & Policy
•United States Air Force Reserve 2012-2015
•Illinois Air National Guard 2009-2012
•United States Air Force 2007-2009
BATTLES, WARS & CONFLICTS
Iraq War (Operation Surge)
*Medals and Awards
- National Defense Service Medal
- Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
- Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border
- Air Force Longevity Service Ribbon
- USAF Aeronautical Badge