Meet Lt. Col. Yancy
By Major Veronica Kemeny, 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published November 13, 2009
TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- With a desire to always fly fighter jets since his childhood, Lt. Col. Scott "Postal" Yancy, 95th Fighter Squadron Commander, lives his dream each day.
"I consider myself to be so lucky," said Colonel Yancy. "I've been to a few reunions lately and I'm usually the one guy living my childhood dream. It's not too often that you find a person realizing their passion and doing what they've always wanted to do. But this is my reality and I feel so fortunate. "
During his high school days, waiting for his acceptance to the Air Force Academy caused him to sweat some Army green.
"I applied to both West Point and the Air Force Academy," said Colonel Yancy. "I received my West Point acceptance a month after I applied, but the Air Force Academy didn't send me my acceptance letter for four months. While I was waiting, my dad and I discussed the pros and cons of going to either school. But in the end, I wanted to fly, and that was all the difference."
His father taught him many lessons, but one stands out.
"My dad used this opportunity to highlight an important life lesson - don't worry about things beyond your control," said Colonel Yancy. "With all the uncertainty that life in the military brings, this advice has proved invaluable over the years," he said.
Colonel Yancy's leadership philosophy has been one of always paying attention to the small stuff that people do for you and recognizing it.
"I think you are more effective as an officer and leader if you recognize even the smallest things people do for you," he said. "Little things do make all the difference."
He feels blessed to be in the best flying squadron in the Air Force.
"Fighter pilots traditionally have 'Type A' personalities," Colonel Yancy said. "Each of us is cut from the same cloth. We all have similar DNA and have the same attitude toward life about 90 percent of the time. All of us harness energy, passion, and a love of flying and teaching. The men and women of the 95th are all so focused. It's such a pleasure to work in an environment where everyone is focused on the mission and willing to help each other accomplish it."
Colonel Yancy is most proud of the relationship his pilots have developed with the maintainers in the 95th FS.
"We've worked really hard the last six months to make sure we are marching in lock step with our maintenance folks," he said. "It has taken a lot of communication and new bridges have been built. Eagle maintainers have a tough job and can blend into the background, but the minor miracles these guys do every day is integral to our mission success as we produce tomorrow's air dominance leaders."
This relationship helps both pilots and maintainers accomplish their mission effectively.
"My pilots have taken the time to really get to know their crew chiefs," Colonel Yancy said. "This paves the way for an outstanding relationship. Our equipment is amazingly good, especially for an aging fleet. It's a testament to the expertise and pride of our maintenance - they are phenomenal. This is the best operations and maintenance relationship I've seen in my Air Force career."
When he's not flying the colonel has several hobbies that keep him occupied.
"Anything sports related, although that mainly involves coaching soccer for now," he said. "I'm also an avid reader, and generally have two to three books going at any given time. I love reading historical non-fiction and just finished a book on Gettysburg called 'The Killer Angels.' Currently, I'm reading a book on Medal of Honor winner Leo Thorsness and another book on public policy."
Anyone who meets Colonel Yancy may be surprised to learn he has some grandiose ambitions.
"I want to get into state politics, although I'm sure my life as a fighter pilot pretty much ruins that dream," he laughed. "I would love to be a governor. I like the idea of having a positive effect on lots of people at a local, and more personal, level. Through my time in the military, I recognize how important it is to have the right people working together as a team. As a kid, I was good at picking teams in sandlot football, so I think this skill would translate well into picking a successful political team."
The colonel says he has a marked propensity toward procrastination and sloth.
"On a more serious note, I'm a pretty good cook," he said. "Growing up, my mom required me to cook dinner for the family once a week. At first I loathed this chore, but after a while I became comfortable in the kitchen and it became a passion. The seed was planted, and now I am fearless in the kitchen - I'll try anything."
His favorite holiday meal to fix is Thanksgiving because of the opportunity to cook great food for lots of people.
"I look forward to making the turkey and the six or seven side dishes that go with it. If politics doesn't work out for me, perhaps I can attend a top-notch chef school and launch a restaurant out west someday," Colonel Yancy said.
Colonel Yancy has been married to his wife, Kris for eight years. They have two children: Caroline age six and Andrew age two.
"Kris loves the Air Force but also misses life on the West Coast," said Colonel Yancy. "She is a California girl at heart. She's really talented and amazingly good at taking care of the spouses."
For Colonel Yancy the best thing about being in the Air Force is the world experience he has shared with his family and all the friends they have meet along the way.
"We've moved four times in the last six years, so you learn real quickly to lean on each other," he said.
The colonel was raised in a Christian home and works hard to instill in his children that Sunday is a big part of the week.
"A lot of where I am today is due to a lot of time spent on my knees praying," said Colonel Yancy. "It is a priority and an integral part of our family life. It sounds trite - but faith, family and friends guide me."
Colonel Yancy strives to keep his family life and Air Force career in check.
"You have to maintain balance in life and take time to laugh and play. After all, your family will be around a lot longer than your career will be. At least, that's how it should be," he said.