Captain Yau Biography


Captain James Yau is an Assistant Professor of Aerospace Studies and is the Education Officer for the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps, Det 390, based at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  As the Education OIC, Capt Yau is responsible for developing officer candidates into leaders and commissioned officers in the US Air and Space Forces

Captain Yau is a Detachment 390 alum who graduated and commissioned from the University of Michigan in 2015. While at Michigan, he earned his B.S. in Kinesiology (Movement Science) and was a 4-year letter winner and Captain of the Michigan Men’s Cross Country & Track teams. Captain Yau went on to earn a graduate certificate in Nuclear Weapons Effects, Policy, and Proliferation from the Air Force Institute of Technology, and a M.S. in Management from Michigan State University.

As a Nuclear and Missile Operations officer, Captain Yau served as missile combat crew member and mission lead, commanding a team of up to 30 nuclear operators responsible for 150 nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), nuclear command & control, and communications. He also served as an assistant fight commander for the 742 Missile Squadron at Minot AFB, and senior ICBM instructor for the 321 Missile Squadron at FE Warren AFB.


2015    University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, MI Bachelors of Science in Movement Science

2016   Vandenberg AFB, CA Initial Skills Training Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Operations

2017   Air Force Institute of Technology, OH Graduate Certificate in Nuclear Weapons Effects, Policy, and Proliferation

2019   Michigan State University, MI Master of Science in Management, Strategy, and Leadership

Present University of Michigan Ross School of Business, Ann Arbor, MI Master’s of Business Administration Candidate


  1. 30 Sep 2015 – 07 May 2016, Initial Skills Training (REACT) Student, Vandenberg AFB, CA
  2. 07 May 2016 – 07 May 2019, Missile Combat Crew Deputy, Missile Combat Crew Commander, Assistant Flight Commander, 742 Missile Squadron, Minot AFB, ND
  3. 07 May 2019-06 Apr 2020, Instructor Scheduler, Instructor/Senior Instructor, FE Warren AFB, WY
  4. 06 Apr 2020 – Present, Recruiting Officer/ Assistant Professor of Aerospace Studies, AFROTC Detachment 390 – University of Michigan, MI


Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Combat Readiness Medal
Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal
Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal with “N” Device


01 May 2015    Second Lieutenant
15 July 2017     First Lieutenant
15 July 2019     Captain

(Current as of May 2020)