Col. Matthew A. Leard is Commander, 97th Air Mobility Wing, Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma. As commander, he is responsible for the formal training of all KC-46 Pegasus, C-17 Globemaster III and KC-135 Stratotanker aircrews for active duty, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve units, as well as multiple partner air forces from across the world. In addition, the wing simultaneously maintains a worldwide capability to support combatant commanders by deploying mission-ready Airmen on short notice.
Prior to this position, Col. Leard was the Vice Commander, 60th AMW, Travis AFB, California. He is a 1998 graduate of Midwestern State University, in Wichita Falls, Texas. He earned his commission through Officer Training School in 1999. His assignments have included squadron and detachment command and staff officer duties at Headquarters U.S. Transportation Command, Headquarters U.S. Air Force and Headquarters Air Mobility Command.
Col. Leard is a command pilot with more than 4,300 hours in the C-17A, C-21A, C-5M, KC-46A, KC-10, KC-135R,T-1A, T-6A and T-37B. His operational experience includes Expeditionary Airlift Squadron commander duties and numerous C-17A and C-21A combat missions in support of Operations Joint Forge, Joint Guardian, Northern Watch, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
1998 Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice and Political Science, Midwestern State University, Texas
1999 Officer Training School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2000 Joint Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training, Vance AFB, Okla.
2005 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2006 Program in Advanced Security Studies, George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, Garmisch, Germany
2010 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence
2011 Master of Military Arts and Sciences, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2012 Air War College, by correspondence
1. February 1999 – May 2000, Student, Joint Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training, Vance AFB, Okla.
2. August 2000 – June 2003, C-21A Instructor Pilot, Flight Commander and Scheduler, 86th Operations Group, Detachment 1, Stuttgart Army Air Field, Germany
3. October 2003 – April 2007, C-17A Instructor Pilot, Executive Officer 437th Operations Group, Chief Operations Plans, Wing Plans, Assistant Chief of Tactics, 14th Airlift Squadron, Charleston AFB, S.C.
4. April 2007 – June 2009, Programmer, Global Mobility Division, Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans and Programs, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
5. June 2009 – June 2010, Execution Team Chief, Secretary of the Air Force and Chief of Staff Executive Action Group, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
6. July 2010 – June 2011, Student, Air Command & Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
7. July 2011 – September 2012, Asst. Director of Operations, 14th Airlift Squadron, Joint Base Charleston, S.C.
8. September 2012 – February 2013, Director of Operations, 15th AS, JB Charleston, S.C.
9. February 2013 – August 2014, Commander, 437th Operations Support Squadron, JB Charleston, S.C.
10. August 2014 – June 2015, Chief, Force Development, Headquarters Air Mobility Command, Scott AFB, Ill.
11. June 2015 – June 2017, Chief, Commander’s Action Group, Headquarters U.S. Transportation Command, Scott AFB, Ill.
12. June 2017 – June 2019, Vice Commander, 60th AMW, Travis AFB, Calif.
13. June 2019 – Present, Commander, 97th Air Mobility Wing, Altus AFB, Okla.
Rating: command pilot
Flight hours: more than 4,300 hours
Aircraft flown: C-17A, C-21A, C-5M, KC-46A, KC-10, KC-135R, T-37B, T-6A and T-1A
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Kosovo Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant February 26, 1999
First Lieutenant February 26, 2001
Captain February 26, 2003
Major October 1, 2008
Lieutenant Colonel November 1, 2012
Colonel May 1, 2017
(Current as of July 2020)