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Cowen, Col. Yancey

Cowen, Col. Yancey

Honorary Board Member - VAFB

Colonel Yancey S. Cowen is the Commander, 71st Mission Support Group, 71st Flying Training Wing, Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma. As the Installation Manager, he is responsible for a $470M base operations contract and all support for the Vance mission and community; including procurement, civil engineering, firefighting, security and law enforcement, communications, personnel, supply, transportation, housing, recreation and services activities. Previously, he served as the United States Forces Korea (USFK) Assistant Chief of Staff, J1 and as the Combined Forces Command and United Nations Command Deputy.


Prior to this, he graduated from the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, where he earned a Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies. He has experience as the J1 at Special Operations Command Africa and commanded Provincial Reconstruction Team Kapisa, Afghanistan. While assigned at the Pentagon, he completed a one-year assignment as the military speechwriter to the Secretary of Defense. As part of his duties, he prepared speeches, talking points, Congressional testimony, press briefings, and related material on national security and foreign policy for the Secretary of Defense. Prior to that assignment, he commanded the 43d Mission Support, and later, the 43d Force Support Squadron at Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina.


EDUCATION
1994 Bachelor of Science in North American History, University of Memphis, Tennessee
2001 Squadron Officers School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama
2005 Masters of Science in Industrial Psychology, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma
2006 Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
2015 Air War College and Master’s in Strategic Studies, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama

ASSIGNMENTS
1994 – 1996, Officer in Charge of Professional Military Education, 61st Mission Support Squadron, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California
1996-1999, Squadron Section Commander, 352d Maintenance Squadron, Royal Air Force Mildenhall, United Kingdom
1999-2001, Chief, Military Equal Opportunity, 42d Air Base Wing, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama
2001-2002, Wing Executive Officer, 42d Air Base Wing, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama
2002-2003, Commander, Military Personnel Flight, 51st Mission Support Squadron, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea
2003-2005, Chief, Casualty Services Branch, Air Force Personnel Center, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas
2005-2006, Action Officer, Commander’s Action Group, Air Force Personnel Center, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas
2006-2007, Student, Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
2007-2009, Commander, Mission and Force Support Squadrons, Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina

2009-2010, Military Spechwriter to the Secretaryy of Defense, Office of the Secreatry of Defense, Pentagon, Virginia

2011-2012, Commander, Provincial Reconstruction Team, Kapisa Province, Afghanistan

2012-2014, Director J1, Special Operations Command Africa, Kelley Barracks, Stuttgart, Germany

2014-2015, Student, Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama

2015-2017, Assistant Chief of Staff J1, Yongsan Amy Garrison, Seoul, South Korea

MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS

Bronze Star

Defense Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster

Air Force Personnel Manager of the Year

Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster

Air Force Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters

Air Force Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters

EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION

Second Lieutenant – July 1994

First Lietenant – July 1996

Captain – July 1998

Major – January 2005

Lieutenant Colonel – November 2009

Colonel – February 2016