Meet The Instructors
AFJROTC has two instructors, each in charge of teaching a different curriculum to cadets.
Lieutenant Colonel James Smith
Senior Aerospace Science Instructor (SASI): This is Lt Col Smith's fifth year teaching at Lafayette. He is very excited to be back! Col Smith was a cadet and a commander in the Lafayette MO 81st AFJROTC program. Lt Col James Smith retired as the Chief, Maintenance Policy & Programs, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces Inspector General's Office. Lt Col Smith was a Distinguished Graduate from Reserve Officer Training Corps Detachment 207 at Parks College of Saint Louis University. He graduated and was commissioned in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Maintenance Management. He also holds a Master's of Aerospace Science from the Embry Riddle Aeronautical University of Daytona Beach, FL. During his Air Force career, he has commanded two aircraft maintenance squadrons and held aircraft maintenance positions in Air Combat Command, United States Air Forces Europe, Air Education & Training Command, Air Force Material Command, United States Central Command, and most recently in the Pacific Air Forces supporting E-3A/B, F-16CJ/C/D, A-10A/C, F-15C/D, UH-1N, C-5/17, and C/NC-130/H aircraft. He is married to Dana T. Smith from Greenville, MS and they have four children: Ethan, Genevieve, Tucker, & Garrett.
Senior Master Sergeant Matthew Zahradka
Aerospace Science Instructor (ASI): This is SMSgt Zahradka's Second year teaching in the MO81st AFJROTC program. Senior Master Sergeant Matthew Zahradka is the First Sergeant, 932d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. As First Sergeant, he advises the commander on morale, welfare, health, recognition, and corrective actions of enlisted personnel. He enlisted in the Air Force Reserve on 5 June 2005. SMSgt Zahradka held many positions including Drill Sergeant, Command Post Controller, Special Projects Coordinator, Senior Orders Non-Commissioned Officer, Fusion Center Superintendent, and Current Operations Directorate. In February 2015, SMSgt Zahradka was selected as First Sergeant, 932 Airlift Wing Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. He graduated from Air Force Basic Training and Army Drill Sergeant School as an Honor Graduate. SMSgt Zahradka is very excited to be teaching at Lafayette High School!