Master Sergeant (Ret.) Scott Wagers enlisted in the Air Force on June 1st, 1984.
When his recruiter showed him a list of potential jobs he was eligible for, he selected aerial photographer. “With the Cold War still in full swing, I naively imagined that I would soon be operating powerful camera systems while flying high above Russia in the SR-71,” he said. After graduating technical school, Wagers found out he would not be behind the camera taking imagery, but on the ground developing film from SR-71s and satellites. For the next six years, Wagers contributed to reconnaissance missions, including Operation El Dorado Canyon and monitoring military operations in East Germany before the Berlin Wall came down.
In 1990, he cross trained into still photography where his career thrived. Wagers attended the first Worldwide Military Photographer’s Workshop and the Department of Defense Photojournalism School at Syracuse University. In 2002 he was recruited by Airman Magazine. During his time as a military photographer, Wagers covered the Air Force mission throughout 43 countries, but he said the best opportunity has been teaching and mentoring young Air Force photographers and public affairs specialists.
Since retiring in 2010, Wagers continues teaching members of the Air Force family as a para-educator in the Department of Defense Education Activity.