Col. Tom Matelski is a native of Racine, Wisconsin. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves in 1991 as an administrative specialist then went on to earn his commission as a Chemical Corps officer through the Reserve Officer Training Corps at Marquette University in 1995.
Col. Matelski’s Chemical assignments include Battalion Chemical Officer, 3rd Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; Decontamination Platoon Leader and Company Executive Officer, 31st Chemical Company (then 44th Chemical Co.), 2nd Chemical Bn., Fort Hood, Texas; Brigade Chemical Officer, 1st Brigade, 2nd Infantry Div., Camp Casey, Republic of South Korea; and Group Support Company Executive Officer and Chemical Detachment Commander, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina. While assigned to 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Col. Matelski deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In 2002, Col. Matelski was designated a Civil Affairs officer and has since served in various duty positions within the 96th Civil Affairs Bn. (Airborne), then the 95th Civil Affairs Bde. (Airborne)—including Civil Affairs Team Leader, E Co., 96th Civil Affairs Bn.; Assistant S3 – Operations, 96th Civil Affairs Bn., and the first Company Commander of B Co., 97th Civil Affairs Bn. While assigned to the 95th Civil Affairs Bde., Col. Matelski deployed multiple times in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. In December 2008, Col. Matelski was assigned to Special Operations Command – Central as a Strategic Plans Officer, and then the Civil Affairs Branch Chief. In June 2012, Col. Matelski returned to Fort Bragg and the 95th Civil Affairs Bde. as the Brigade S3 Operations Officer of the 95th Civil Affairs Bde. (Airborne). Col. Matelski was the Battalion Commander at the 97th Civil Affairs Bn. (Airborne). Following command, Col. Matelski attended the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies as a U.S. Army War College Fellow in Honolulu, Hawaii. In June 2016, Col. Matelski was assigned to Headquarters, U.S. Pacific Command, as Branch Chief for the Deployable Joint Force Augmentation Cell in the J35. From April through December 2018, Col. Matelski established the National Defense Strategy Integration Team working for the Commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, in developing a 10-year Vision for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific. Col. Matelski was most recently Director of the Commander’s Action Group for U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.
Col. Matelski is a graduate of the Senior Service College, School for Advanced Military Studies and the Command and General Staff College, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a master’s degree from the Army Advanced Military Studies Program. His highest military decoration is the Defense Superior Service Medal. Col. Matelski is married to his high school sweetheart, the former Amy Hartmanstorfer, also from, Racine, Wisconsin, and they have five boys: Mitchell, 24; Andrew, 22; Timothy, 17; Zachary, 15; and Joshua, 13. Col. Matelski also has a daughter-in-law, Meaghan, married to his son Andrew, living in Virginia.