Steve Lipscomb was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland and earned his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina. He accepted a commission into the Air Force and began his career as a military pilot with permanent assignments in Mississippi, California, New Jersey, Hawaii, and Germany, and temporary assignments in a variety of states. He deployed twice – once to Germany and again to Afghanistan / Pakistan. His assignments and flights took him across the globe allowing him to meet people of all cultures and backgrounds and see the best (and worst) the world has to offer. Steve was awarded the Bronze Star following his Middle East deployment.
Steve holds a Master’s Degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle and a Master's in Air Mobility / Logistics from the Air Force Institute of Technology.
Following his retirement from the Air Force, Steve joined Dell as an Account Executive responsible for information technology sales to the Army and Air Force in the pacific. After 3 years, he joined Microsoft in a similar role, but with a customer base that covered nearly all US military units in the pacific area. Steve left Microsoft in 2017 after 6 years as a Director / Manager.
Steve volunteered for over 10 years with the Boy Scouts of America filling numerous leadership roles in both Cub and Boy Scouts, culminating with co-founding Troop 777 in Honolulu and serving as first Scoutmaster.
Steve and his wife Allison will celebrate their 29th wedding anniversary this year. Their two sons are in college and they have three dogs. Steve enjoys hiking and biking, any home improvement “do it yourself” project, and an occasional general aviation flight.
People choose how they want to live their lives. As I matured, I chose to structure my life around three core principles:
"God" is where I derive my moral compass -- the core beliefs and values that I use to guide my daily life. "Family" encompasses my efforts to be the best father, husband, brother, nephew, etc that I can be. "Country" is where I try to make positive impacts to my community, country and world through selfless service and hard work. Below is a snapshot of my life to help provide insight into who I am.
I was born in Baltimore, Maryland to the daughter of an Italian immigrant / World War 1 wounded veteran. Following my parents' separation and eventual divorce beginning when I was 4 weeks old, my two older siblings and I were raised by my mom. In retrospect, it was a hard life but I don't think I fully realized it at the time. I recognized three important lessons during this period of my life -- "take care of the things you have", "earn more than you spend" and "understand the difference between wanting something and needing something."
I graduated with honors from Baltimore's Northern High School (public) and was accepted to The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina. The Citadel embraced the “whole person” concept to develop cadets academically, physically, militarily, morally, and ethically. I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and accepted an officer commission into the Air Force as a pilot candidate. My time at The Citadel taught me to strive to live with honor -- the Honor Code reads "a cadet does not lie, cheat or steal, nor tolerate those who do" and that served me well during my career in the Air Force as well as in the two Fortune 500 companies where I later worked.
After completing the intense, one-year pilot training program at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi, I was selectively chosen as instructor pilot to teach newly appointed pilot candidates to fly the T-37 (trainer aircraft). With the sky as my classroom, I learned about some of the challenges of teaching, but more importantly I learned the responsibility of having people depend on me for their own futures. Being less than the best instructor I could be would negatively impact students who were trying to start their own careers. It was the recognition of this relationship, coupled with my own drive to succeed that ensured I did my best. It was during this time that I married my wife Allison, after 6 years of long distance dating!
I was reassigned to Travis Air Force Base, California where I flew the C-141 Starlifter (cargo aircraft). I became an air refueling instructor / evaluator pilot responsible for administering in-flight evaluations to the pilots of my squadron. During this time, while maintaining worldwide, combat-ready status and flying global missions, I earned my first Master’s Degree (Aeronautical Science) from Embry-Riddle and more importantly became a father to my first son, Chris.
I was accepted into the prestigious Advanced Studies of Air Mobility course, a one-year, Command-level grooming program for future leaders, earning my second Master’s Degree (Air Mobility / Logistics) from the Air Force Institute of Technology at Fort Dix, New Jersey. Upon graduation with honors, I was assigned to the United States Pacific Command, Hawaii in the Command and Control Interoperability Branch to better integrate Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine technologies to allow effective operations in a Joint environment. It was here in Hawaii that my second son, Matt, was born at Tripler Army Medical Center. It was also here that I met Governor Candidate Ray L'Heureux and worked with him daily for about 1 1/2 years.
I returned to Travis AFB where I piloted the C-5 Galaxy in support of the USAF Global Reach mission. In the military world of constant reassignments, we found two constants for our boys -- Scouts and sports. I became actively involved with Cub Scouting when Chris was able to join, and over the years with both sons, served as Den Leader at each of the five levels as well as Cubmaster. I deployed to Frankfurt, Germany as Deputy Group Commander for air operations supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. My time in crew airplanes such as the C-141 and C-5 taught me that there are experts in every field and the key is to bring them together in a collaborative environment to get the best solution to a given problem.
I transferred to Ramstein, Germany to run the Strategic Concepts and Transformation Branch at HQ - United States Air Forces Europe, where we referred to ourselves as the "what if" shop -- we evaluated various courses of action that met the commander's intent regarding his strategy for the region. It was here that Matt became old enough to join Cub Scouts and Chris crossed over to Boy Scouts so I held leadership positions in both organizations.
I deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan as Deputy Chief, Air Division of the Office of Security Cooperation tasked with reestablishing the Afghan Air Corps. During this deployment, I partnered with American friends in Germany and America, and the deployed Chaplain Corps to deliver clothing and school supply donations to Afghan schools and refugee shelters. I forward deployed from Afghanistan to Pakistan where I led five US service men with thirty Afghan helicopter aircrew flying five Russian MI-17 helicopters in earthquake relief efforts. Our key to safe success was partnering with US Black Hawk helicopter crews from Task Force Phoenix. We flew in formation to controlled and uncontrolled locations to deliver desperately needed supplies and to transport injured and deceased back to the main operations area.
When I retired from the Air Force in 2007, my wife and I had the choice of moving pretty much anywhere -- we chose Hawaii. During our earlier assignment, we fell in love with the community, the beauty, and the spirit of the islands. Although I had huge concerns about the high cost of living here, I remember realizing that the first three Hawaiian words I learned were Aloha, Mahalo and Ohana and thought that a community which believes so strongly in these concepts was where I wanted to raise my children! We made the journey from Germany to Hawaii and enrolled our sons into Star of the Sea school. Eventually, they both transitioned to and graduated from Punahou.
I was hired by Dell, Inc as a sales Account Executive where I focused on Army and Air Force information technology requirements in the pacific. I led Hickam’s Cub Scout Pack as Cubmaster until Matt crossed over to Boy Scouts, and then was selected as Scoutmaster for Troop 10 in Kaimuki. After a year, I co-founded Troop 777 in Honolulu, where I was Scoutmaster for 2 years.
I left Dell and became a sales Account Executive with Microsoft Corporation expanding my customer base to nearly all US military units in the pacific. My time in both of these Fortune 500 companies required that I work successfully with virtual teams and the lesson learned was that folks are motivated by different things and to succeed I must identify those drivers and ensure they are addressed in the eventual solution. In other words, one must build an effective team that values collaboration.
Last year, I was selected to attend the 10-week FBI Citizens Academy for an in-depth look at their efforts in our state. This was an eye-opening opportunity to see the amazing work the FBI does, and to see the various types of crime that have been successfully fought in our islands.
I've maintained high level security clearances throughout my military and post-military careers. We have three dogs – two of which were rescue puppies from the SPCA. I enjoy hiking and biking, any home improvement “do it yourself” project, an occasional general aviation flight, mysteries, and logic puzzles.
Steve Lipscomb is a retired Air Force Lt Colonel. Use of his title, rank, or photograph does not constitute endorsement by the US Air Force or the Department of Defense.