SNCOA graduates first Space Force members

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Katie DuBois
  • Air University Public Affairs

Air University's Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy recently graduated its first Space Force members Sept. 25.

Master Sgt. Jeffrey Roberts and Master Sgt. Robert Yarnes are only two of the more than 2,000 organic space operators in officer and enlisted Air Force specialty codes who began transferring Sept. 1, but the first from the SNCOA. Roberts is currently the superintendent of the National Security Space Institute at Peterson-Schriever Garrison, Colorado and Yarnes is the current division manager at Joint Task Force–Space Defense at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado.

Roberts has always dreamed of supporting operations in space. “Space was always the original intent for joining the military,” Roberts said. “When asked to join the United States Space Force, my decision was based on continuing the mission and to be part of something fantastic at the same time. It is a fresh start where the influence of a few will result in the betterment of the many.”

Yarnes on the other hand was rather surprised about the opportunity. “I did not even imagine that there would be a U.S. Space Force, much less that I would be one of the first few thousand members,” Yarnes said. “It is an incredible honor to help stand up the new service and work alongside so many highly qualified professionals. I do feel truly blessed that I get to be a part of it.”

SNCOA aims to inspire senior enlisted leader intellectual, emotional and strategic growth while also developing cutting-edge, joint warfighters to dominate in any battle domain — including space.

“The SNCOA does a great job preparing you to lead enlisted, communicate with leadership and to develop military attributes. These are the learning outcomes of the SNCOA and it is important to all SNCOs regardless of which branch of service you may be in,” Roberts said. “As a SNCO, you need to strive for becoming part of an effective, agile and lethal organization. As part of the United States Space Force, we have to develop Space Professionals who can adapt to unknown challenges and act decisively while effectively communicating intent to both our adversaries and allies.”

“The biggest concept that was hit every day since the first of class: leaders need to foster innovation and agility in order to enhance lethality,” Yarnes said. “This will be critical moving forward for the Space Force, as operating in such a complex domain such as space demands that the U.S. needs to bring to bear lethal and credible reasons to deter potential adversaries from attacking us in space.”

The Space Force, which was established December 20, 2019, will have more than 6,000 uniformed active duty members in organic and common AFSCs when fully manned.