A former Dunn Middle School student and 2002 Triton High School graduate was recognized during a U.S. Air Force promotion ceremony this month in Utah. William “Casey” Matthews, son of Janis Matthews of Clayton and the late Ray Matthews, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel. He is married to Michelle Caruthers.
Making the trip to Utah for the ceremony were Erwin attorney Timothy Morris and his son, Tim Morris.
Matthews entered the Air Force in 2007 through the ROTC program at the University of South Carolina, the “Flying Gamecocks.”
According to his biography, Matthews is the Bioenvironmental Engineering Flight Commander of the 75th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. He is responsible for the third largest Bioenvironmental Engineering Flight in the USAF. He is charged with identifying, assessing and controlling chemical, biological, physical and radioactive hazards present at work centers, the environment, and during a crisis.
Matthews also serves the 75th Medical Group as the Biomedical Science Corps executive as a mentor for over 30 Biomedical Sciences Corps officers across 12 career fields.
Prior to his current assignment, Matthews served as a CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear) consequence management planner for U.S. Northern Command, installation executive officer, test engineer, and has been a flight commander six times. He also holds a National Board certification in industrial hygiene from the American Board of Industrial Hygiene.
Lt. Col. Matthews was deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and deployed nine times in support of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to Hill Air Force Base in Utah, Matthews’ assignments have included bases in Ohio, Arizona, South Carolina, Virginia, as well as Italy and Qatar.
His military career has earned him a number of major awards and decorations, including: a Defense Meritorious Service Medal; Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster; Joint Commendation Medal; Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters; Joint Achievement Medal; Air Force Achievement Medal; Air and Space Recognition Ribbon; and a New York State Military Commendation Medal.
He was promoted to second lieutenant on May 30, 2007; first lieutenant on May 30, 2009; captain on May 30, 2011; major on June 1, 2016; and lieutenant colonel on Oct. 1, 2020.