NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University Director of Bands Dr. Jeffrey C. Mathews has been promoted to the rank of colonel in the Air National Guard.
Mathews serves as Chief, Air National Guard Bands for the National Guard Bureau. He is the chief policy maker and advisor to all Air National Guard bands. The Chief of ANG Bands determines the readiness of ANG bands through technical inspections and staff assistance visits; recommends actions for improving the ANG band program to Director of the ANG, SAF/PA and NGB; develops policy guidance for the ANG band program; coordinates band policy issues; establishes qualifications and procedures for hiring and training new band officers and enlisted members and conducts band officer auditions to fill vacancies.
“It is an honor and I am humbled to have received this promotion,” said Mathews. “My current position is extremely satisfying because I am the advocate for funding and manpower for the ANG bands at the National Guard Bureau and the Pentagon. I am also tasked with ensuring the musical quality of all the ANG bands through advisory visits and inspections.”
Mathews has served in the National Guard for 32 years. He was the commander and conductor of the Air National Guard Band of the Gulf Coast from 1997 to 2011. He received his commission on July 2, 1998, from the Academy of Military Science in Knoxville, Tennessee. Prior to joining the Texas Air National Guard he served ten years with the 156th Army Band of the Louisiana National Guard and two years with the 132nd Army Band of the Wisconsin National Guard. In 2007, he deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Horn of Africa with members of the Air National Guard Band of the Gulf Coast.
“Initially, I planned to do one six-year enlistment for the college benefits,” said Mathews. “Thirty-two years later I’m still at it. The comradery, great friendships, patriotism and great music making kept me in over the years.”
At Northwestern State, Mathews teaches music education, conducting, music theory and African-American music. He enjoys playing trombone in several rhythm and blues bands when not teaching or conducting. His professional memberships include Louisiana Music Educators Association, Texas Music Educators Association and the College Band Directors National Association.