Matt Aldrich of Walpole, New Hamshire joined the U.S. Army in September 1998 as an Infantryman. He completed One Station Unit Training and was awarded the Military Occupational Specialty 11B (Infantryman) at Fort Benning, GA. While serving as an 11B infantryman he was assigned to the 5th Battalion 20th Infantry Regiment, Fort Lewis, Washington. MAJ Aldrich earned his commission as an Aviation Second Lieutenant in October 2001 from the Officer Candidate School in Fort Benning, Georgia and subsequently completed Flight Training in Fort Rucker, Alabama in November 2002. Following graduation from the Aviation Officer Basic Course at Fort Rucker, Alabama in April 2003, he was assigned to the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, at Giebelstadt, Germany where he served as an Aviation Platoon Leader and Executive Officer. MAJ Aldrich served tours of duty in IRAQ and AFGHANISTAN while serving in the 12th CAB.
Following completion of the Aviation Captains Career Course in 2007, MAJ Aldrich was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 212th Aviation Regiment in Fort Rucker, Alabama where he attended the UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopter Instructor Pilot Course (IPC). He served as the Battalion Operations Officer and subsequently took command of Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 212th Aviation Regiment. After command, he deployed to Kabul Afghanistan and served at the Standardization Pilot for the Air Interdiction Unit (AIU) Embedded Training Team (ETT) where he instructed and mentored Afghan pilots in the Russian Mi-17 Helicopter.
His Military awards and decorations include; the Bronze Star (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Army Commendation Medal (4 OLC), Army Achievement Medal (4 OLC), Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Commendation, National Defense Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal for Combat Service, Afghanistan Campaign Medal for Combat Service, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (4), Expert Infantry Badge, and Senior Aviator Badge.
MAJ Aldrich is married to the former Jessica McGaw of Mt. Pleasant, TN. They have five children, Aleecia, Kylee, Hallie, Grace, and Noah.
Derek Gay of Pensacola, Florida joined the U.S. Army in August 1998 as an Infantryman. He completed One Station Unit Training and was awarded the Military Occupational Specialty 11M (Mechanized Infantryman) at Fort Benning, GA. Following graduation from OSUT he was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment (Mechanized) in Fort Hood, Texas where he served as a Dismounted Infantryman. Mr. Gay was reassigned June 2000 to the 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment (Mechanized) in Baumholder, Germany where he further served as a Dismounted Infantryman and Machine Gun Team Leader. Mr. Gay served a tour of duty in MACEDONIA while serving with the 1-22 IN. Following completion of the U.S. Army Airborne School, September 2002, Mr. Gay was reclassified 11B and reassigned to the 3rd Battalion 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment in in Fort Bragg, North Carolina as an Airborne Infantryman and Airborne Infantry Team Leader. Mr. Gay served tours of duty in AFGHANISTAN and IRAQ while serving with the 3-504 PIR. After completing the Primary Leadership Development course at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and the U.S. Army Recruiter Course at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, he was reassigned to the Oklahoma City Recruiting Battalion with duty in Searcy, Arkansas where he was subsequently promoted to Staff Sergeant.
Mr. Gay transitioned from the Active Duty to the Arkansas Army National Guard in February 2008. Mr. Gay was assigned to the Recruiting and Retention Battalion where he served as an Instructor in both the National Guard's Recruit Sustainment Program and Cadet Command's Army ROTC Program at ASU-Beebe. February 2009, Mr. Gay transferred into 2nd Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment of the Florida Army National Guard as an Infantry Fire Team Leader and worked in the University of South Florida Veterans Services Office. Mr. Gay was reassigned August 2011 to 1st Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment as an Infantry Squad Leader and subsequently completed the Infantry Advanced Leader Course in September 2011 at Camp Robinson, Little Rock, Arkansas.
After interning at the Special Operations Command/Central Command Clinic at MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, Florida; Mr. Gay transitioned to Dartmouth College as the Military Science Instructor.
His awards and decorations include; the Combat Infantry Badge, Expert Infantry Badge, Basic Parachutist Badge, Expert Marksmanship Badge, Wheeled Vehicle Driver's Badge, Army Commendation Medal, 6 Army Achievement Medals, 2 Army Good Conduct Medals, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal w/ Campaign Star, Iraq Campaign Medal w/ Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal (Afghanistan), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, 2 Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbons, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Kosovo Medal, Glen E. Morrell Award, Recruiting Ring, and Gold Recruiter Badge w/ Sapphires.
Mr. Gay is married to the former Maria Rojas of Dallas, Texas. They have one child; Derek.
Mr. Gay is currently an Actively Drilling Staff Sergeant assigned to Recruiting and Retention Battalion, Vermont Army National Guard as a Senior Non-Commissioned Officer of the state's Recruit Sustainment Program.
Last Updated: 4/8/13