Lieutenant Colonel Aaron Jelinek is Commander, 56th Operations Support Squadron, Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. An integral part of the 56th Fighter Wing, the OSS provides direct support required by the wing’s fighter squadrons for sortie generation. This includes weapons and tactics, aircrew training management, air traffic control, airfield operations, weather, flight records, operations scheduling, aircrew flight equipment training, and operations plans.  More than 220 OSS personnel work in six geographically separated locations around Luke AFB, helping the wing train the world’s greatest

F-35 and F-16 pilots.


Colonel Jelinek received his commission in 2001 as a distinguished graduate of the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University ROTC program in Prescott, Ariz. He has held multiple operational assignments in both Pacific Air Forces and Air Combat Command. These include Fighter Training Unit Instructor, Supervisor of Flying Program Manager, F-16 and F-35 Evaluator and Instructor Pilot, and as the Lead Solo Pilot for the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron “Thunderbirds.” Colonel Jelinek is a senior pilot with more than 2,200 flying hours, including more than 230 combat hours during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He has also served as a Department of Defense Legislative Fellow on Capitol Hill. Prior to his current assignment, he served as the 61st Fighter Squadron Director of Operations.



2001 Distinguished graduate, Bachelor of Science degree in computer science, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott, Ariz.

2006 Squadron Officer School, Top Third Graduate, Maxwell AFB, Ala.

2008 Master of Business Administration degree, Colorado State University, Fort Collins

2010 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence

2012 Certificate of Legislative Studies, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

2013 Air Force Legislative Fellowship, Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.



1. May 2001 – April 2002, Executive Officer, 93rd Air Refueling Squadron, Fairchild AFB, Wash.

2. May 2002 – October 2003, Student, Euro-Nato Joint Jet Pilot Training, Sheppard AFB, Texas

3. November 2003 – September 2004, Top Graduate, F-16 Formal Training, Luke AFB, Ariz.

4. October 2004 – June 2007, Assistant Weapons Officer, 4th Fighter Squadron, Hill AFB, Utah

5. June 2007 – January 2008, F-16 Instructor Pilot and Flight Commander, 35th Fighter Squadron, Kunsan Air Base, South Korea

6. February 2008 – April 2008, Student, Formal Training Unit Instructor Pilot Course, 61st Fighter Squadron, Luke AFB, Ariz.

7. May 2008 – January 2009, Chief of Scheduling, 61st Fighter Squadron, Luke AFB, Ariz.

8. January 2009 – September 2009, Standardization and Evaluations and F-16 Evaluator Pilot, 56th Operations Group, Luke AFB, Ariz.

9. October 2009 – November 2010, Thunderbird Opposing Solo Pilot and Flight Safety Officer, U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev.

10. December 2010 – December 2011, Thunderbird Lead Solo Pilot and Assistant Director of Operations, U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev.

11. January 2012 – July 2012, Commander’s Action Group, 57th Wing, Nellis AFB, Nev.

12. July 2012 – December 2013, Air Force Legislative Fellow, Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.

13. January 2014 – June 2014, Student, Formal Training Unit Instructor Pilot Course, 62nd Fighter Squadron, Luke AFB, Ariz.

14. July 2014 – December 2014, Director of Operations, 21st Fighter Squadron, Luke AFB, Ariz.

15. January 2015 – March 2015, Formal Training Unit Instructor Pilot Course, 58th Fighter Squadron, Eglin AFB, Fla.

16. April 2015 – May 2016, Director of Operations, 61st Fighter Squadron, Luke AFB, Ariz.

17. June 2016 – present, Commander, 56th Operations Support Squadron, Luke AFB, Ariz.



Rating: Senior pilot

Flight hours: More than 2200, including more than 230 combat hours

Aircraft flown: T-37, T-38, F-16, and F-35A



Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster

Air Medal with oak leaf cluster

Aerial Achievement Medal

Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters

Air Force Achievement Medal

Combat Readiness Medal

Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal

Iraq Campaign Medal with service star

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

Korea Defense Service Medal



Second Lieutenant May 11, 2001

First Lieutenant May 11, 2003

Captain May 11, 2005

Major Dec. 1, 2010

Lieutenant Colonel Feb. 1, 2015


(Current as of June 2016)


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