Cummings is NORAD's Outstanding CGO

  • Published
  • By Tim Jones
  • Eastern Air Defense Sector

1st Lt. Matthew Cummings is the North American Aerospace Defense Command’s Outstanding Company Grade Officer for 2020.

A New York Air National Guardsmen stationed at the Eastern Air Defense Sector (EADS), Cummings is a senior director with the 224th Air Defense Squadron (ADS). NORAD recognized him for leading a team that enforced 32 temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) for Presidential flights and for his superb work on 20 higher headquarters exercises and 40 training missions. Under Cummings’ leadership, his crew successfully met the increased demands created by the COVID-19 pandemic, working 2,500 more missions in 2020 than in 2019. He also conducted two-thirds of his crew’s positional evaluations.

“Being recognized as NORAD’s best Company Grade Officer is a remarkable achievement and I congratulate 1st Lt. Cummings on his accomplishment,” said Col. Paul. M. Bishop, EADS Commander. “Lt. Cummings professional excellence and dedication to the mission serves as a great example for the Airmen he skillfully leads and for the officers works with.”

This is the second outstanding CGO award Cummings has earned this year. He received the Continental NORAD Region–1st Air Force award in March. Cummings also received the 1st Air Force’s Command and Control (C2) Enlisted Warrior of the Year award in 2012.

A prior enlisted officer with more than 15 years in uniform, Cummings initial assignment was with the 729th Air Control Squadron (ACS) at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. A surveillance technician and weapons director, he deployed with the 729th ACS to Balad Air Base, Iraq in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM.

Cummings transferred to EADS and joined the New York Air National Guard in 2009. After being commissioned as an officer in 2017, Cummings attended Air Battle Management School at Tyndall AFB, Florida, where he was the Honor Graduate. 

The New York Air National Guard’s 224th ADG is composed of the 224th Air Defense Squadron and 224th Support Squadron, located in Rome, and Detachment 1 and Detachment 2 that serve in the Washington, D.C. area. The 224th ADG provides the forces to conduct the Eastern Air Defense Sector’s (EADS) mission. Part of NORAD, the Sector is responsible for the air defense of the eastern U.S.

For more information about the New York Air National Guard, visit For more information on the Eastern Air Defense Sector and the 224th Air Defense Group, visit