Fairchild's Finest: SSgt Matthew Stead

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Sean Campbell
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Nominee:  Staff Sgt. Matthew Stead

Unit of assignment:  22nd Training Squadron

Duty title:  Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape specialist

Hometown and state:  Ontario, NY

What do you do on a daily basis at Fairchild AFB?
I provide personnel at risk of isolation the skills and confidence to 'Return with Honor' while producing mission-ready SERE specialists for any tasking worldwide. I work in the large group section of resistance training and perform role-play type instruction for about 32 hours every week.

What do you enjoy about your job?
I really enjoy being part of the team that helps our future warriors grow and progress through training. SERE training provides our Airmen with monumental obstacles, and it's a privilege to help them learn to succeed.

Why did you choose to serve in the military?
I wanted to give back to my country, do my part to help those in need while earning my freedom and pay homage to those who sacrificed everything so that we could remain free.

Time in military: Six years on Oct. 9

What is your greatest accomplishment? 
I accomplished 36 months of rigorous training to become part of a very selective and proud heritage of SERE Specialists.

What goals do you want to achieve or meet while at Fairchild AFB:  Surviving Special Tactics Officer selection and receiving my commission.

Hobbies:  Snowboarding, cars, motorcycles, CrossFit, soccer, baseball, hiking, climbing, wakeboarding and sailing.

Your best habit:  Making my bed every morning.  Starting my day off right by succeeding at the basics.

Favorite movies:  Warrior, Guardians of the Galaxy and Long Way Back

Who is your favorite mentor and what did you learn from him/her?
Master Sgt. Matthew Ruch taught me when you take care of your people, they will take care of you.
Master Sgt. Jason Clapper taught me to have a vested interest in your workspace and improve on it each day so that you leave a legacy for those to come.

If you could spend one hour with any person, who would it be and why?
Col. "Bud Day" - Medal of Honor Recipient for his time in the Hanoi Hilton. I would ask how he managed each day in captivity and what he thinks makes a great leader.

What others are saying about this week's Fairchild's Finest:
"Staff Sgt. Stead is a prime example of an exemplary NCO within the 'fighting 22.' On a daily basis he goes out of the way to improve processes and his workspace. His attention to detail and passion for the mission is evident from aircrew comments, coworker accolades and his every day actions. He is known for doing the right thing even when no one is looking. He is going to make a great STO," said Tech. Sgt. Jess Evans.