Joseph R. Pitts (Born October 10, 1939) is a Republican politician for the state of Pennsylvania, currently representing Pennsylvania's 16th Congressional district (map) in the U.S. House.
Pitts was born in Lexington, Kentucky and he graduated from Asbury College. Pitts served five and a half years in the United States Air Force, with three tours in Vietnam. Initially commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, he was promoted to Captain by the time he left the service. He graduated second in his class from Navigator School, after which he was trained as an Electronic Warfare officer. As an EW officer, he served on B-52s out of Westover Air Force Base, Massachusetts, with payloads of nuclear bombs. In all, he completed 116 combat missions in the Vietnam War and earned an Air Medal with five oak leaf clusters.
He worked as a teacher for a short time. Pitts was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1972. Pitts was elected to the House of Representatives in 1996. Pitts has a conservative voting record. He visited Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban and Pakistan in 2002. Pitts was angered after a federal judge ordered the removal of the Ten Commandments from the Chester County courthouse. Pitts hasn't had serious competition and he announced that he's abandoning his pledge to serve just ten years in the House of Representatives.
In recent years, he has taken a leading role in advocacy for religious prisoners overseas and some obscure human rights crises, like Burma, Western Sahara, and Kashmir. Pitts has used his office to build relationships with Ambassadors from other countries in hopes of building ties between people from those nations and his constituents. This has yielded shipments of aid to developing nations.