August 26, 2015
CPT Matthew Roland
December 24, 1987
August 26, 2015
Matthew deployed three times, twice to Afghanistan and once to Africa.
23rd Special Tactics Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Florida.
Matthew was an Air Force Academy graduate with a degree in aeronautical engineering. After graduation, he completed the rigorous special tactics training program in 2012 to become one of the few special tactics officers in the Air Force. He was trained as a military static line jumper, free fall jumper, an Air Force combat scuba diver, and a joint terminal attack controller.
Awards & Decorations:
Captain Roland’s military awards included a Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Fore Achievement Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and the NATO Medal.
His father, Mark, mother, Barbara, sister, Erica and nieces Mina and Josie.
The unfortunate events of that day unfolded as a convoy was returning to Camp Antonik, with both Captain Roland and Staff Sergeant Sibley occupying the lead vehicle. Upon arriving at the checkpoint, the Afghan interpreter got out of the lead vehicle and briefly met with the Afghan Commando guards to provide the password for the day. As the interpreter made his way back to the vehicle, one of the Afghan Commando guards raised his weapon. Simultaneously, Captain Roland, who was the driver, threw the vehicle in reverse and notified everyone on the radio of an insider attack. This was followed by the Afghan Commando guard firing into the vehicle, whereby both Captain Roland and Staff Sergeant Sibley were killed. Roland’s actions allowed the other occupants of the vehicle to survive the attack, for it gave one Army Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) member enough time to raise his weapon in the vehicle and engage the Afghan Commando shooter. For Captain Roland’s actions he was posthumously awarded the Silver Star.