DOBBINS AIR RESERVE BASE, Ga. --
Many laughs were had and several tears were shed by friends and family alike during a chief’s retirement ceremony on an early spring weekend.
Chief Master Sgt. Scott E. Yoder, the Senior Enlisted Leader of the 94th Maintenance Group, culminated his service with a retirement ceremony here, March 4, 2023. The ceremony highlighted his 30-year military career.
Unlike most military retirement ceremonies, the event was not narrated by a fellow serviceman. Instead, Yoder’s daughter, Katlyn Skelton, led the event, which gave the ceremony a more familial tone.
Skelton introduced Yoder first and foremost as her dad, then listed off his other nicknames, including “My dude, Scooter or otherwise known as Chief.”
Chief Yoder began his three-decade long Air Force in December of 1992, when he enlisted into active duty. In May 1993, he was stationed at Kadena Air Force Base in Japan as his first duty station where he worked as an Aerospace Ground Equipment Apprentice.
The chief’s flying career began in 1996 when he became a C-130 Aircraft Loadmaster in 1996 at Pope AFB, North Carolina.
In 1998, Yoder’s career in the Air Force Reserve started when he transitioned from active duty to be a HC-130P Rescue Loadmaster at the 303rd Rescue Squadron at Portland International Airport, Oregon.
Finally, Yoder came to Dobbins Air Reserve Base in September 2001, where he served as a Formal Training Unit Loadmaster Instructor for the 700th Airlift Squadron and later as the Senior Enlisted Leader for the 94th Maintenance Group.
Throughout his three decades of service, the chief earned a variety of awards, decorations and recognition throughout his career. His numerous awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Aerial Achievement medal, Air Force Commendation Medal and the Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon.
“Never in a million years did I think I was going to be a chief,” Yoder said. “I didn't know I was going to stay longer than my initial enlistment.”
In his speech to those who attended his retirement ceremony, Yoder reminisced about how he did not know what he wanted to do when he joined the military, admitting that he originally enlisted open general.
One of the things Chief Yoder will miss from his time in the Air Force is the people, whose many accomplishments were a joy for him to witness.
“I've met some of the most amazing people here,” Yoder said. “We've had so many success stories come out of this squadron. Folks who made chief, folks that have commissioned, flying planes and navigating planes. They've gone on to bigger and better things. I couldn't be more proud to be a part of that.”
Yoder expressed his gratitude to his friends, family and to the servicemen who worked alongside him throughout the years before rendering his final salute to conclude the ceremony.
“I've been blessed to do more things that I can't even explain,” Yoder said. “It's been a great ride.”