Biography Display

Col Colonel Matthew S. Allen


Col. Matthew S. Allen is the Commander, 24th Special Operations Wing (24 SOW), Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), Hurlburt Field, Fla. As the only Special Tactics wing in the Air Force, the 24 SOW conducts special operations force core activities with expertise in airpower application to lead global access, precision strike, personnel recovery, and battlefield surgical operations. It is comprised of two Special Tactics Groups and a Special Tactics Training Squadron, totaling 1,700 Special Tactics operators, Combat Mission Support personnel, and Special Operations Surgical Teams. 

Col. Allen received his commission from the United States Air Force Academy and was competitively selected as a Special Tactics Officer in 1999. Throughout his training and operational career, he acquired skills as a static-line jumpmaster, military freefall parachutist, combat diver, and joint terminal attack controller. 

Col. Allen led Special Tactics and Special Operations Forces during Operations ENDURING FREEDOM, IRAQI FREEDOM, ENDURING FREEDOM-Trans Sahara, INHERENT RESOLVE, and RESOLUTE SUPPORT. Col. Allen commanded the 24th Special Tactics Squadron during deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, and various locations across North and East Africa. He also commanded a Special Operations Task Force focused on counter-violent extremist organizations across the Levant. Upon completion of National War College, Col. Allen was selected as the A3 for Air Forces Central Command, directing the Combined Forces Air Component Commander’s combat, mobility, and reconnaissance aircraft arsenal during the height of the counter-ISIS fight. Col. Allen next commanded the 720th Special Tactics Group and was subsequently selected as the 24 SOW Commander.



1999  Bachelor of Science, Foreign Area Studies, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo.

2005  Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.

2009  Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell ABF, Ala., by correspondence

2012  Master of Policy Management, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

2015  Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence

2016  Master of National Security Studies, National War College, Washington, D.C.



  1. June 1999—January 2000, Logistics Training Flight Commander, 509th Logistics Support Squadron, Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo
  2. January 2000—May 2001, Student, Special Tactics training pipeline, various locations
  3. May 2001—September 2001, Assistant Flight Commander, 21st Special Tactics Squadron, Pope AFB, N.C.
  4. September 2001—July 2003, Flight Commander, 21st Special Tactics Squadron, Pope AFB, N.C.
  5. July 2003—July 2007, Flight Commander, 24th Special Tactics Squadron, Pope AFB, N.C.
  6. July 2007—June 2009, Director of Operations, 321st Special Tactics Squadron, RAF Mildenhall, UK
  7. July 2009—January 2010, Chief, Special Tactics Branch, Special Operations and Personnel Recovery Division, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
  8. February 2010—May 2011, aide-de-camp to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
  9. June 2011—June 2012, Air Force Fellow, Georgetown University, McConn Endowed Scholarship for Public Policy, Washington, D.C.
  10. July 2012—July 2014, Commander, 24th Special Tactics Squadron, Pope AFB, N.C.
  11. August 2014—July 2015, Deputy Commander, 724th Special Tactics Group, Pope AFB, N.C.
  12. August 2015—June 2016, student, National War College, Washington, D.C.
  13. July 2016—July 2017, A3, USAFCENT, Al Udeid AB, Qatar
  14. July 2017 - June 2019, Commander, 720th Special Tactics Group, Hurlburt Field, Fla
  15. June 2019 - Present, Commander, 24th Special Operations Wing, Hurlburt Field, Fla
  16. 16. July 2019—August 2019, Commander, Joint Special Operations Air Component – Central, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar



Legion of Merit

Bronze Star Medal with three oak leaf clusters

Defense Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters

Meritorious Service Medal

Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster

Air Force Recognition Ribbon



Second Lieutenant                June 1999

First Lieutenant                      June 2001

Captain                                  June 2003

Major                                       Jan. 2009

Lieutenant Colonel                 Nov. 2012

Colonel                                   May 2017