Col. Matthew M. Fritz is Commander of the 419th Fighter Wing, Hill Air Force Base, Utah. He is responsible for providing combat-ready forces comprised of approximately 1,300 Reserve, active duty, and civilian Airmen to support national objectives.
Colonel Fritz is a 1996 graduate of the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Studies and received his commission from the Academy of Military Science. He has served for more than 26 years in the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard. The colonel started his military career as an enlisted F-16 maintenance technician. He has served in multiple capacities at the squadron, group, wing, and MAJCOM levels as a Traditional Reservist, Air Reserve Technician, and Active Guard Reserve officer. He has served as an Instructor Pilot with more than 3,400 flying hours in the F-22 and F-16 and has more 110 combat missions, totaling more than 470 combat flight hours. Additionally, Colonel Fritz was the first Air Force Reserve F-22 pilot ever to deploy in combat. He has flown missions in support of Operations Coronet Nighthawk, Southern Watch, Northern Watch, Noble Eagle, Iraqi Freedom, and Inherent Resolve. Prior to his current position, he was the 44th Fighter Group commander, Eglin AFB, Fla.
1996 Bachelor of Science, Aeronautical Studies, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks
1998 Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training, Columbus Air Force Base, Miss.
2005 Squadron Officer School, by correspondence
2010 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence
2012 Master of Science, Emergency and Disaster Management, Trident University International, Cypress, Calif.
2013 Reserve Component National Security Course, National Defense University, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.
2014 Inspector General Training Course, National Conference Center, Leesburg, Va.
2017 Air War College, by correspondence
1. August 1996 – August 1997, Student, Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training, Columbus Air Force Base, Miss.
2. November 1996 – January 1997, Student, Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals, 49th Fighter Training Squadron, Columbus AFB, Miss.
3. November 1998 – July 1999, Student, F-16 Basic Course, 61st Fighter Squadron, Luke AFB, Ariz.
4. July 1999 – October 2002, F-16 Pilot and Mission Commander, 175th FS, South Dakota Air National Guard, Joe Foss Field, S.D.
5. October 2002 – December 2004, F-16 Pilot and Chief of Wing Plans, 175th FS, SDANG, Joe Foss Field, S.D.
6. December 2004 – September 2006, F-16 Instructor Pilot and Chief of Training and Readiness, 175th FS, SDANG, Joe Foss Field, S.D.
7. September 2006 – December 2008, F-16 Instructor Pilot, OIC of Weapons and Tactics, SDANG, 175th FS, Joe Foss Field, S.D.
8. December 2008 – September 2013, F-16 Instructor Pilot, Fighter Enhancement Program Manager, 482nd Fighter Wing, Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla.
9. September 2013 – February 2014, Student, F-22 Pilot, 43rd FS, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
10. February 2014 – December 2014, F-22 Pilot, Director of Wing Inspections, 325th FW, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
11. December 2014 – August 2016, F-22 Pilot, 301st FS Director of Operations, 44th Fighter Group, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
12. August 2016 – August 2017, Executive Officer to the Director of Air, Space and Information Operations, Air Force Reserve Command, HQ AFRC/A3, Robins AFB, Ga.
13. August 2017 – January 2019, Chief, Combat Operations Division, Directorate of Air, Space and Information Operations, Air Force Reserve Command, HQ AFRC/A3, Robins AFB, Ga.
14. January 2019 – June 2020, Commander, 44th Fighter Group, Eglin AFB, Fla.
15. June 2020 – Present, Commander, 419th Fighter Wing, Hill AFB, Utah
Rating: Command pilot
Flight hours: More than 3,400, including more than 470 combat hours
Aircraft Flown: T-3A, T-37, T-38A, AT-38B, F-16C/D, F-22A, F-35A
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal
Joint Meritorious Unit Award with oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Unit Award with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with four oak leaf clusters
Combat Readiness Medal with seven oak leaf clusters
Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
National Defense Service Medal with one device
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Iraq Campaign Medal with one device
Operation Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Korean Defense Service Medal
Armed Forces Service Medal
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border and two oak leaf clusters
2002 Graduate, Contingency Wartime Planning Course
2005 Graduate, Introduction to Military Deception Course
2006 Graduate, Conventional Weaponeering Fundamentals Course
2014 Graduate, Inspector General Training Course
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant June 26, 1997
First Lieutenant June 26, 1999
Captain July 7, 2001
Major July 7, 2005
Lieutenant Colonel Oct. 1, 2012
Colonel Jan. 30, 2018
(Current as of June 2020)