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By Airman 1st Class Alexis Christian, Peterson-Schriever Garrison
/ Published April 01, 2021
Nathan Lancor, Space Delta 6, 21st Space Operations Squadron chief of security, talks about his U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army and U.S. Space Force career and how he balances everything with his family life and hobbies at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Lancor loves supporting his children with their traveling sports teams. (U.S. Space Force courtesy photo)
Nathan Lancor, Space Delta 6, 21st Space Operations Squadron chief of security, talks about his U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army and U.S. Space Force career and how he balances everything with his family life and hobbies at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Lancor loves supporting his children with their traveling sports teams. (U.S. Space Force graphic by Airman 1st Class Alexis Christian)
What started out as a conversation with friends in high school, turned into an unexpected journey for Nathan Lancor, Space Delta 6, 21st Space Operations Squadron chief of security. He didn’t just find himself leaving his hometown of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, but found himself in the midst of a whole new frontier, the U.S. Space Force.
“I was hanging out with friends, and one said he wanted to join the [U.S.] Air Force and work on jets,” said Lancor. “He asked if anyone wanted to go to the recruiter with him. A month later I was going to basic training.”
Lancor started his U.S. Air Force career in security forces, and soon rediscovered his love for woodworking and building after cross training into civil engineering. His shop would often volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, cleaning yards, building wheel chair ramps and reroofing houses. The skills he learned through his job and volunteer work evolved into a personal passion. He often spends his free time on projects around the house, his favorite being the night tables he made from reclaimed materials.
“I’m currently remodeling my master bedroom and bathroom, so they might be my new favorite once it’s done,” said Lancor. “Overall I enjoy building or remodeling something; turning it from old to new.”
After 12 years on active duty, Lancor decided to leave the USAF. He accepted a job with the American Red Cross as a disaster program manager, supervising and coordinating disaster relief efforts, and providing hands-on emergency response.
“The human kindness and compassion I saw is something that I always carry with me,” said Lancor.
As impactful as that job was, Lancor found that he still had a desire to be a part of military life.
“I originally didn’t intend to join the [U.S.] Army Reserve,” said Lancor. “But after a year of being out I really missed the comradery. The reserves had the best options for me based on job options and locations of reserve centers.”
Shortly after joining the reserves in 2011, Lancor decided he wanted to serve in a full-time capacity again, but as a government civil servant. Originally taking a job with the U.S. Army Reserve 63rd Readiness Division in Mountain View, California, he took a job with the 21st SOPS at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California in 2019.
Traveling from California to Colorado Springs for reserve weekends, managing a full time job and keeping up with his kids traveling sports teams is no simple task for Lancor. He says it’s all possible thanks to his wife and children and their understanding helps him to maintain balance.
“Life is like a seesaw,” said Lancor. “Sometimes certain parts of life are heavier, but then when [heavier] parts lessen, I have more time to spend on hobbies. Ultimately, being a father and a husband is the middle of the seesaw, the grounding force that allows me to do what I do.”
Being a part of the USSF is just another adventure for Lancor. He explained how awesome it is to be a part of history and that he’s excited to see what the future holds for his new service.
“My hope and belief is that the USSF will be a leader of all nations in the space arena just like the Air Force, Army and Navy,” said Lancor. “It is human nature to explore, and the world isn’t getting any bigger, so naturally we reach to space for that exploration. As exploration continues to grow, the U.S. needs to protect itself and the Space Force was created to make that happen.”