Major Fernando OrtegaMajor Fernando Ortega is the Director of Operations and Professor of Aerospace Studies for Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) Detachment 028, at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott, Arizona.

Major Ortega graduated from Officer Training School in 2009 and has 13 years prior-enlisted experience. As a Staff Weather Officer, Major Ortega’s first assignment was to Fort Sam Houston, Texas, where he provided direct support to U.S. Army North and U.S. Army South advising two Army Commanding Generals on operational weather impacts across the Northern and Southern Commands.

Major Ortega moved to Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, where he led a a 71-member flight providing 24/7 operational weather support to aircrews, ground forces and senior leaders at 79 DoD installations. He has also served as the Officer-in-Charge of the 12th Air Force Watch Center providing command and control throughout the full spectrum of operations which included contingencies, crisis planning, counterdrug, Foreign Humanitarian Aid/Disaster Relief operations and POTUS support. Major Ortega is also an Honor Graduate of the Inter-American Air Forces Academy where he led 9 South American military officers in a Spanish-speaking academic environment.

Prior to his current position, Major Ortega served as a Detachment Commander at Fort Shafter, Hawaii, and was charged with providing meteorological support to U.S. Army Pacific to include directing hurricane readiness postures across the Hawaiian Islands, American Samoa, Johnston Atoll and Kwajalein. Maj Ortega has deployed to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in support of Operation Southern Watch and to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

  • 2001 - Airmen Leadership School, RAF Feltwell, England
  • 2004 - Associate’s in Weather Technology, Community College of the Air Force
  • 2006 - Bachelor of Science in Professional Aeronautics, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • 2010 - Air and Space Basic Course, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
  • 2013 - Squadron Officer School, Correspondence
  • 2015 - Squadron Officer School, Inter-American Air Forces Academy, Lackland AFB, Texas
  • 2017 - Master of Business Administration, Liberty University
  • October 1996-November 1996, Enlisted Trainee, Basic Military Training Squadron, Lackland AFB, Texas
  • November 1996-March 1997, Student, Weather Observing School, Keesler AFB, Miss.
  • March 1997-August 1998, Weather Observer, Randolph AFB, Texas
  • August 1998-August 2002, Weather Observer, RAF Mildenhall, England
  • December 2000-February 2001, Deployed: Operation Southern Watch, Al Dhafra AB, United Arab Emirates
  • December 2001-March 2002, Deployed: Operation Southern Watch, Prince Sultan AB, Saudi Arabia
  • August 2002-May 2003, Student, Weather Forecasting School, Keesler AFB, Miss.
  • May 2003-November 2006, Weather Forecaster, Offutt AFB, Neb.
  • November 2006-June 2009, Weather Forecaster, Sembach AB, Germany
  • June 2009-September 2009, Officer Trainee, Officer Training School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
  • September 2009-August 2012, Staff Weather Officer, Fort Sam Houston, Texas
  • November 2010-June 2011, Deployed: Operation Enduring Freedom, Bagram AB, Afghanistan
  • August 2012-May 2014, Weather Flight Commander, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.
  • May 2014-June 2016, OIC, Command Post Watch Center, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.
  • June 2016-May 2018, Commander, Detachment 1, 1st Weather Squadron, Fort Shafter, Hawaii
  • May 2018-July 2020, Chief, Weather Equipment & Systems, JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii
  • July 2020-Present, Operations Officer, AFROTC Det 028, Prescott, Ariz.
  • Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster
  • Air Force Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters
  • Army Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
  • Airman Basic - Oct. 9, 1996
  • Airman First Class - April 9, 1997
  • Senior Airman - Oct. 9,1999
  • Staff Sergeant - Feb. 1, 2002
  • Technical Sergeant - Nov. 1, 2008
  • Second Lieutenant - Sept. 9, 2009
  • First Lieutenant - Sept. 9, 2011
  • Captain - Sept. 9, 2013
  • Major - July 1, 2019

(Current as of August 2020)