Roland, Matthew David, Capt

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Last Rank
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
13DXB-Combat Control and Recovery - Special Tactics
Last AFSC Group
Space, Missile Command & Control
Primary Unit
2010-2015, 13DXB, 24th Special Operations Wing
Service Years
2010 - 2015

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by AB Raymond Albert Guinn to remember Roland, Matthew David, Capt.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address
Camp Antonik, Afghanistan

Casualty Date
Aug 26, 2015
Hostile, Died of Wounds
Gun, Small Arms Fire
Operation Freedom's Sentinel (OFS)
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Combat Control Team Military Free Fall Jumpmaster

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
GWOT Fallen
  2015, GWOT Fallen [Verified]

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 Ribbon Bar

Command and Control (Basic)
Scuba Diver

 Unit Assignments
23rd Special Tactics SquadronAir Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC)720th Special Tactics Group24th Special Operations Wing
  2010-2015, 13DXB, 23rd Special Tactics Squadron
  2010-2015, 13DXB, Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC)
  2010-2015, 13DXB, 720th Special Tactics Group
  2010-2015, 13DXB, 24th Special Operations Wing
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  2015-2015 Operation Freedom's Sentinel (OFS)
 Colleges Attended 
United States Air Force Academy
  2006-2010, United States Air Force Academy
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
His Bronze Star Medal Citation reads:

Captain Matthew D. Roland, United States Air Force, distinguished himself by exceptionally meritorious service as a Special Tactics Officer, 23d Expeditionary Special Tactics Squadron, Combined Joint Special Operations Air Component-Afghanistan (CJSOAC-A), from 20 March 2015 to 26 August 2015 during Operation FREEDOM'S SENTINEL in support of RESOLUTE SUPPORT Mission. During this period, Captain Roland served as a Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) attached to a United States Army Special Forces team, fighting alongside one of Afghanistan's premier Commando units, disrupting enemy safe havens within the volatile Helmand and Kandahar Provinces. Captain Roland de-conflicted congested airspace and tasked multiple fixed and rotary-wing strike and surveillance aircraft while under direct enemy fire, providing much-needed close air support for multiple friendly positions. Additionally, he planned for, coordinated, and controlled over 130 coalition aircraft including fixed and rotary-wing attack aircraft for close-air-support, manned and un-manned intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance platforms. He executed five combat missions in highly contested areas significantly disrupting the insurgent networks throughout southern Afghanistan, killing seven enemy fighters, wounding 22, and detaining 16 more. Captain Roland's understanding of the operational environment and his depth of knowledge of airpower made him an invaluable asset by providing the Ground Force Commander with a clear and compete picture of the tactical situation. He used airborne intelligence assets to develop pattern of life analyses and provide an accurate picture of the threats in his team's austere area of operations. When he and his team came into direct contact with enemy forces, he maneuvered to gain superior vantage points from which to effectively employ airpower and skillfully synchronize lethal effects to disrupt and destroy the enemy. On one mission, Captain Roland and his team were conducting clearing operations in the highly contested Nad Ali District of the Helmand Province. In the early morning hours, Captain Roland and his team began receiving a high volume of effective fire, this marked the beginning of a day during which he and his team would open four different "troops in contact" situations as they repeatedly returned fire and engaged a determined enemy force. Despite rounds impacting all around him, Captain Roland engaged several enemy positions with his personal weapon, including small arms and 40 millimeter grenades; he repeatedly exposed himself to identify enemy positions and direct friendly aircraft to their location. Over the course of the day, he controlled 34 different aircraft, directed F-16s during three shows of force to deter the enemy, and engaged with a rotary wing strafing run to suppress an enemy fighting position. His actions undoubtedly saved both American and Afghan lives that day and the operation resulted in three enemy killed and another five detained. Additionally, Captain Roland served as the Air Space Coordinator and Weapons Release Authority at the Special Operations Joint Task Force-Afghanistan (SOJTF-A) Fires Cell. His knowledge and professionalism was prominently displayed as he became the sole JTAC assigned to the general officer level operations center. In this capacity, he advised the SOJTF-A Commanding General and Deputy Commanding General who held Target Engagement Authority during kinetic strike opportunities to ensure senior leaders made informed decisions on the employment of lethal effects. Captain Roland's inputs were instrumental in developing theater-level guidance on the employment of airpower. Additionally, when SOJTF-A directed the creation and implementation of an Afghan unilateral Air Standard Operation Procedure (SOP), Captain Roland was a key figure in its cradle to grave development. He melded his superior understanding of air to ground integration with his knowledge of Afghan capabilities to create a document with strategic implication, forming the foundation for a standardized process to coordinate aircraft without coalition presence. Through his heroic actions and unselfish dedication in the service of his country, Captain Roland has reflected great credit upon himself, the Combined Joint Special Operations Air Component-Afghanistan, the NATO Special Operations Component Command-Afghanistan/Special Operations Joint Task Force-Afghanistan, and the United States Air Force.
Not Specified
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