Tech. Sgt. Matthew Zellefrow

Tech. Sgt. Matthew Zellefrow

Air Traffic Control Watch Supervisor

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.


By Roadtrip Nation

Tech. Sgt. Matthew Zellefrow


My road in life took a while to figure out.
As a teenager, I was just a young punk without direction who was into music and fast cars.
I took my time after high school to explore my options—decided to join the Air Force when I was 22 years old.
Initially I wanted to become an avionics mechanic, but my recruiter encouraged me to pursue air traffic control instead.
Have been working in air traffic control for the last 13 years.
I now work as the Air Traffic Control Watch Supervisor at Dyess Air Force.
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.
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.
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.


Air Traffic Control Watch Supervisor

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

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Armed Services
Working with Others

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.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

Research your options. Enlisting in the Air Force is only one way to become an air traffic controller. It's a good way to segway into becoming a pilot or pursuing air traffic control outside of the service, but there are many pathways to this career. Find the right fit for you.


The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

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

Challenges I Overcame

Work-Life Balance

Interviewed By

Room to Grow

Room to Grow

Texas high schoolers choose their education focus