The 'total force' family

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Laura Turner
  • 310th Space Wing Public Affairs

Newly promoted Maj. Scott Hollister looked out at the audience during his promotion ceremony with tears in his eyes and a smile on his face. Focusing on his family in the front row, his voice broke as he spoke to his brothers, Capt. Ryan Hollister and 1st Lt. Taylor Hollister.

“This means a lot to me because… my two brothers,” said Scott. “Ryan, he’s prior enlisted also, and what’s cool about this is that he’s cyber, I’m space, and Taylor, he’s on his way to pilot school. You’ve got air, space and cyber space.”

The three brothers share a special bond, one that was encouraged in their family background.

“We’ve always been outdoor enthusiasts. We grew up in the Boy Scout program and each of us went on to earn our Eagle Scout,” said Scott. “We have fond memories of our father taking us out on awesome camping, caving and hiking trips.”

Scott recalled one particular incident that he felt drew them closer together as brothers.

“We decided to go to Aspen, Colorado, and hike the Maroon Bells,” said Scott. “We made our way up the first peak and realized that the traverse to the next peak was going to require actual rock climbing gear. Taylor and I were not prepared and decided to make our way back down to camp. Before we started our descent, we handed Ryan one of our two-way radios.”

While Scott and Taylor were napping at the campground, they heard Ryan call for help over the radio. According to Scott, their adrenaline was pumping as they prepared for a worst-case scenario.

“We realized that he was safely down from the mountain, but was very dehydrated and could not make it the rest of the way to the camp,” said Scott. “Taylor, who was a high school cross country athlete at the time, packed some water and started running up the trail to help Ryan. Once they arrived back to camp, Ryan told us his experience from the traverse and it turns out he truly thought he was not going to make it. This was an eye opening experience and an important lesson learned; never go alone while doing high risk activities.”

The brother’s adventures didn’t stop there. When Scott was a junior in high school, he decided to enlist in the Air Force right after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. His older brother, Ryan, enlisted shortly after him.

“Taylor, after seeing his two older brother’s join, decided he wanted to fly in the Air Force at a very young age,” said Scott. “We have all had a desire to do something bigger than simply going to school and getting a job after college. I think we have all motivated each other, in a sense.”

After sewing on the rank of technical sergeant, Scott commissioned through the Deserving Airman Commissioning program. He left his position as the Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of training at the 19th Space Operations Squadron - 310th Space Wing - and went to the 380th Space Control Squadron as a new lieutenant. He then moved to the 379th Space Range Squadron, working as a Range Control Officer, and is now a traditional reservist with the 26th Space Aggressor Squadron at Schriever AFB.

“Ryan and I always had leadership qualities growing up,” said Scott. “Once we realized what it took to be an officer, we knew it was our calling. We both learned so much from being enlisted Reserve Citizen Airmen and truly believe we were the backbone of the Air Force. There’s no doubt that we took the qualities we learned and are using them to be the best officers we can be.”

According to Ryan, it was humbling to see his brother pin on the rank of major, especially a year ahead of the curve.

“It’s a testament to his dedication, hard work and patriotism,” said Ryan. “I know he’s worked hard and sacrificed a lot to get where he is now, and he’s a great example to his family and those he leads. For him, it’s all about the people he serves."

Even through the successes the brothers have experienced in their military careers, Scott said they have each encountered difficult trials that taught them to be resilient leaders.

"I believe this is what has made us who we are today. We realized that everyone around us has their own personal issues and are dealing with things that we couldn't possibly understand," said Scott. "Because of this, we have come to learn what servant leadership really is. Taking care of people will always be our priority."

Scott's son, Trey, is currently in the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps and plans to attend college while sticking with the program. His goal is to commission, said Scott, and follow his passion in building or architecture as a Civil Engineer officer, continuing the family's legacy of service.