United States Air Force Academy

Go to home page

Colonel Matt Dietz

Department Head

Department of History

Col Dietz
Contact Information

(719) 333-3230




Matt Dietz is a Colonel in the U.S. Air Force and currently a Department Head at the United States Air Force Academy where he specializes in Military History, Policy, and Strategy. His doctoral dissertation, Eagles Overhead: The History of US Air Force Airborne Forward Air Controllers, from the Muese-Argonne to Mosul, is a critical history of US Air Force Airborne Forward Air Controllers and exams their role in US military conflicts from World War I to Operation Inherent Resolve. Col Dietz has logged more than 2,500 flight hours in five different aircraft and deployed in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Additionally, he served as a NATO staff officer and planner for Operations Odyssey Dawn and Unified Protector.

A graduate of Texas A&M University, Col Dietz has an MA in History from Sam Houston State University and a Master’s of Military Operational Art and Science from Air University. He has attended the Clements Center’s Summer Seminar in Statecraft and History and presented papers and lectures on US military strategy and operations.


PhD, Military History, Policy, and Strategy; University of North Texas, 2020
Dissertation: Eagles Overhead: The History of US Air Force Airborne Forward Air Controllers, from the Muese-Argonne to Mosul

MA, Military Operational Arts and Science, Air University, Feb 2010
Thesis: Redefining Collective Defense: NATO’s Vital Role in Global Security.

MA, History, Sam Houston State University, May 2009

BA, History, Texas A&M University, 1998

Professional Experience

USAF pilot (F-15E, AT-38C), USAF navigator (KC-135), US and NATO staff officer, strategist, and educator

Honors & Awards

Command Pilot with over 2,500 flying hours in the F-15E, T-38, T-37, and KC-135; including 325 combat hours

Defense Meritorious Service Medal

Air Force Meritorious Service Medal

Air Force Achievement Medal

Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster

Air Medal with one oak leaf cluster

Multiple NATO and campaign medals

336 Fighter Wing Lance P. Sijan Leadership Award Winner

Clements Center’s Summer Seminar in Statecraft and History

Research and Scholarly Interests

US Foreign Policy

Military and National Security strategy

US air power history



“Toward a More Nuanced View of Airpower and Operation Desert Storm.” War on the Rocks. January 6, 2021. https://warontherocks.com/2021/01/toward-a-more-nuanced-view-of-airpower-

Review: All the Factors of Victory: Adm. Joseph Mason Reeves and the Origins of Carrier Airpower by Thomas Wildenberg. International Journal of Naval History, December 16 2020. https://www.ijnhonline.org/book-review-all-the-factors-of-victory-adm-joseph-mason-reeves-and-the-origins-of-carrier-airpower/

Review: American Foreign Policy and National Security: A Documentary Record, by Paul R. Viotti. Strategic Studies Quarterly, October 2, 2020. https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/SSQ/BookReviews/Article/2370070/american-foreign-policy-and-national-security-a-documentary-record/

Review: The Candy Bombers: The Untold Story of the Berlin Airlift and America's Finest Hour,  by ChernyAndrei.  Air Power History Journal, Spring 2011, Vol. 58, number 1.



“How American Understands Its Air Force: The U.S. Air Force in the American Mind.” Society for Military History Conference, May 9-12, 2019.

“Right now, History is Changing the Future” TEDx@SMU, Dallas, TX, October 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnsiDixZP94

“Pilots and Protestors: How Vietnam Protests and the Air War in Vietnam Influenced Each Other” 14th Annual Ohio University History Graduate Conference, Ohio University, March 2018, and 1968 and the Tet Offensive, The Vietnam Center and Archive and the Institute for Peace & Conflict at Texas Tech University, April 2018.

“Air Force Bases in Texas: The Training Ground for American Airpower” Texas State Historical Association 2018 Annual Meeting, San Marcos, TX, March 2018.

“Guided Bomb Diplomacy: American Airpower Diplomacy in the Post-Cold War World” International History and Diplomacy Conference, Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford, May 2018.