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Lieutenant Colonel Brian Yoakam


Department of Political Science

Lt Col Yoakam
Contact Information

(719) 333-6253




Lieutenant Colonel Brian Yoakam currently serves as an instructor in the Department of Political Science at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Since his time there, he has taught American Government, Politics, and National Security. Lieutenant Colonel Yoakam is a career space officer with over 15 years of experience at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels of military leadership.

After graduating from the University of Virginia in 2007, he served as DSP/SBIRS crew commander, AETC instructor, deployed space duty officer, and chief of SBIRS weapons and tactics. While at Pacific Air Forces, he served on the Commander’s Action Group and was the executive officer to the Deputy Commander. Lieutenant Colonel Yoakam was hand-picked to serve in the Schriever Space Scholars inaugural class at Air Command and Staff College. Upon graduation, he helped to establish and develop the nation’s newest combatant command – United States Space Command.

Lieutenant Colonel Yoakam earned his M.A. in Political Science from American University in Washington, D.C., specializing in Applied Politics. The concentration focused on the intricacies of American public policy, public affairs, and advocacy. Its comprehensive curriculum covered nuanced lobbying practices, the intersection of women and political leadership, and the strategic elements, themes, and messaging inherent in effective campaign management. Brian has been married to his wife, Emily, for over 10 years, and they have two beautiful boys.


Master of Arts, Political Science, American University (2023)

Master of Military Operational Art and Science, USAF Air Command and Staff College (2019)

Master of Science, Space Operations, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (2014)

Squadron Officer School (Distinguished Graduate), Air University (2014)

Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, University of Virginia (2007)

Professional Experience

Political Science Instructor, U.S. Air Force Academy, 2023 – Current

Branch Chief, J33 Operations and Integration, U.S. Space Command, 2019 – 2022

Schriever Space Scholar, USAF Air Command and Staff College, 2018 – 2019

Commander’s Action Group, Pacific Air Forces, 2018

Executive Officer to the Deputy Commander, Pacific Air Forces, 2017 – 2018

Chief, Strategy Guidance Team, 613th AOC, Pacific Air Forces, 2016 – 2017

Deputy Chief, MAAP Team, 613th AOC, Pacific Air Forces, 2014 – 2016

Chief, SBIRS Training, 533rd Training Squadron, Vandenberg SFB, 2013 – 2014

Executive Officer to 380th Mission Support Group, Al Dhafra AB, UAE, 2013

AETC SBIRS Instructor, 533rd Training Squadron, Vandenberg SFB, 2011 – 2013

Chief, Weapons and Tactics, 2nd Space Warning Squadron, Buckley SFB, 2010 – 2011

Space Duty Officer, 609th AOC, Al Udeid AB, QAT, 2009 – 2010

Chief, SBIRS Missile Defense Integration, 460th Operations Support Squadron, Buckley SFB, 2009

DSP/SBIRS Crew Commander, 2nd Space Warning Squadron, Buckley SFB, 2007 – 2009

Research and Scholarly Interests

American Government and Politics

American Presidency

Campaign Management

Political Behavior and Elections