skip to main content
Tech. Sgt. Matthew Zellefrow
Tech. Sgt. Matthew Zellefrow

Tech. Sgt. Matthew Zellefrow

United States Air Force

Abilene, TX USA

"Don’t let anybody else drive your life. Whatever you are going to do, do it on your own terms. You are #1 in your own life."

Career Roadmap

Tech. Sgt. Matthew's work combines: Armed Services, Technology, and Working with Others

See more careers and stories that connect to your interests.

Take Roadmap Quiz

Day In The Life

Air Traffic Control Watch Supervisor

I oversee the air traffic control tower at Dyess Air Force Base.


Day In The Life Of An Air Traffic Controller In The Military

My Day to Day

At this tower, we typically work from 8am - 4pm or 4pm - 12am. I watch and supervise everything that everyone else is doing. It's my job to catch any mistakes or correct any errors. If any of the air traffic controllers mess something up, ultimately, I am the one responsible. I keep track of and file all records of flights so we know how many flights there have been in a day and the amount of traffic.

Life & Career Milestones

My path in life took a while to figure out

  • 1.

    As a teenager, I was just a young punk without direction who was into music and fast cars.

  • 2.

    I took my time after high school to explore my options—decided to join the Air Force when I was 22 years old.

  • 3.

    Initially I wanted to become an avionics mechanic, but my recruiter encouraged me to pursue air traffic control instead.

  • 4.

    Have been working in air traffic control for the last 13 years.

  • 5.

    I now work as the Air Traffic Control Watch Supervisor at Dyess Air Force.

  • 6.

    I oversee all air traffic controllers in the tower to ensure they are doing their jobs correctly and I’m there to rectify any issues that may come up.

  • 7.

    The constant rotating schedules that air traffic controllers work make balancing work and family life difficult, but I’ve gotten used to it over the years.

  • 8.

    The thing that has made the biggest impact on my life is not rushing into decisions—you don’t have to jump into everything head first.

Defining Moments

How I responded to discouragement


    Messages from Myself:

    I don't want to work in air traffic control.

  • How I responded:

    When I joined the military, I had my heart set on becoming an avionics mechanic. There was a long wait list for that job that would have delayed my enlistment, so my recruiter suggested air traffic control. I was really hesitant at first because it didn't seem like something I would like. I've now been here for over 13 years because I realized its a job that involves a lot of things that I am good at.

Experiences and challenges that shaped me

Click to expand

  • In air traffic control, we work rotating schedules, which means that our hours are always changing. It makes balancing work and family life difficult.