Chief Master Sergeant (Ret.) Napoleon Yates enlisted in the Air Force while it was still in it’s infancy in 1951. He was issued brown shoes, making him a true part of the “brown shoe corps,” and upon completion of basic training he was promoted to private first class.
Yates upheld his belief in, “strong dedication to mission support,” through his 29-year career, working as a contracting specialist. He supported the Air Force mission while stationed around the world: California, Michigan, Wake Island, Alaska, Delaware, Spain and Germany.
As the procuring contracting officer in Torrejon Air Base, Spain, he took on many projects, but one stood out to him, “I played a role in the construction of an ocean-water desalting plant, this allowed local villagers to access fresh water. It’s a fond memory,” Yates said.
In 1980 Yates retired from active duty, but his dedication to the Air Force did not end there. He would go on to work two separate contracting careers for the Air Force. Now after more than 60 years of service, Yates truly retired in June of 2014.
After a lifetime of service and dedication to the Air Force, Yates described his time in the military in a few short words, “It was a long ride, but it was a good ride,” he said. Yates passed away in August of 2014.