Kuta joins Endowment board of directors

Former fighter pilot and flight commander Matthew J. Kuta, a 2005 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, has joined the USAFA Endowment board of directors.

Recipient of the 2016 Col. James Jabara Award, Kuta retired from the U.S. Air Force this year. During his 12 years of service, he flew numerous combat missions in the Middle East, led and improved pilot training initiatives and coordinated staffing and training to ensure mission preparedness.

“As the priorities of American society continue to evolve, so do those of the newest recruited cadets and future officers,” Kuta says. “As a recent Academy graduate, I think my generational perspective, along with my recent combat experience in three currently active areas of responsibility, will be the most important assets I can bring to the board.”

Kuta received the Jabara Award “for his heroic actions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria" in 2014. During his service, he earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, Aerial Achievement Medal, and was the only U.S. military fighter pilot to be named a Stars and Stripes magazine hero for exceptional acts of valor in combat. He was also nominated for the Lance P. Sijan Award for leadership and the Anthony C. Shine Award for the top Air Force fighter pilot.

“There were multiple times when a fresh USAFA graduate, not much more than two years after graduation, was on my wing in combat. Having the opportunity to stay connected to USAFA and supporting the cadets is something that is near and dear to my heart,” Kuta says.

Kuta has used his flight expertise and leadership skills to consult on unmanned aerial systems for a Fortune 500 company and serve as the founding executive director and member of the board of directors of Space for Humanity, a non-profit organization that will select a non-astronaut to travel to the edge of space and beyond at the end of 2018.

“We are so impressed with Matt’s commitment to the Academy and its role in creating the next leaders and warriors in the United States Air Force. His extensive experience in modern warfare gives him important perspective to help us support the Academy’s modern mission,” says Bart Holaday, interim chariman of the USAFA Endowment board.

Kuta works in private equity for a leading Wall Street firm in New York City, where he resides with his wife, Cristina; their daughter, Sophie; and two dogs.

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