Rear Admiral Jon Matheson is a second-generation naval aviator and his two brothers are also naval aviators. He is a graduate of Kent State University earning a Bachelor of Science degree and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant, United States Marine Corps in 1984. At the end of The Basic School (TBS), he was offered a Navy flight school quota due to USMC squadron over-manning and after receiving a service transfer, earned his wings in 1986.
After completing training in the F-14 Tomcat, he reported to the Diamondbacks of Fighter Squadron (VF) 102 and deployed aboard USS America (CV 66) to the North Atlantic, Mediterranean Sea, and Indian Ocean. He then received orders to the Challengers of VF 43 as an adversary instructor pilot. As an “AMBUSH” bogey driver he flew the A-4 Skyhawk, F-5 Tiger, and F-16N Viper, and attended the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN).
Matheson transitioned to the Reserve Component in 1992 with the Omars of Fighter Squadron Composite (VFC) 12. He served in a variety of billets before assuming command of the F/A-18 Hornet squadron in November 2001. During his tenure as executive officer and commanding officer, VFC-12 was awarded a Noel Davis Trophy “Battle E”, a CNO Aviation Safety Award “Safety S,” and a Golden Anchor Award.
Subsequent Navy Reserve (NR) commanding officer assignments include: NR Tactical Air Control Squadron 2286, NR Carrier Strike Group Eight, and NR Navy Warfare Development Command 101. He has also been assigned to NR Joint Forces Air Component Commander 0186 and NR Joint Forces Command 206.
Significant extended periods of active duty providing support to the fleet include:
U.S. 2nd Fleet air operations officer implementing Naval Command & Control of Air Operations; chief of staff for the executive director to Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command; director - Navy Maritime Operations Center (MOC) Training Team; chief of staff - Navy Don't Ask / Don't Tell Repeal Implementation Task Force; deputy - Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Task Force. His first flag assignment was reserve deputy commander for Fleet Management / reserve chief of staff at U.S. Fleet Forces Command.
He assumed duties as deputy commander United States Naval Forces Southern Command / deputy commander United States 4th Fleet in October 2012.
Matheson has the privilege of being designated an honorary Chief Petty Officer and has proudly served with shipmates who have earned four “Battle E” Awards for Excellence. He has accumulated more than 3,500 flight hours in tactical aircraft and logged nearly 300 carrier landings. His awards include the Legion of Merit (2), Meritorious Service Medal (6), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (2), and various unit and service awards.