Col. Jerry B. Bancroft Jr. is wing commander of the 123rd Airlift Wing, Kentucky Air National Guard, located in Louisville, Kentucky. He provides leadership to more than 1,200 Airmen organized in five groups to support both domestic operations and overseas combat missions. The wing is equipped with C-130 Hercules aircraft capable of conducting tactical airlift and combat airdrop sorties. Other key missions include a special tactics squadron comprised of combat controllers and pararescuemen; and the Air National Guard's only operational contingency response group.
Bancroft graduated from the University of Louisville in Louisville, Ky., and received his commission through Officer Training School in 1996. Serving on active duty for 13 years, Bancroft began his career as an Air Terminal Operations Center Flight Commander with the 3rd Aerial Port Squadron at Pope Air Force Base, N.C. During this assignment, Bancroft served as a primary liaison officer for ramp operations supporting the 82nd Airborne Division and XVIII Airborne Corps. Bancroft next served as a Logistics Operations Officer for Joint Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, N.C., supporting special operations forces worldwide. After completion of joint undergraduate pilot training with the U.S. Navy, Bancroft served four years with the 50th Airlift Squadron at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., flying tactical airlift missions across the globe. Following that assignment, Bancroft served as an Instructor Pilot, Evaluator Pilot, Chief of Standardization & Evaluations, and Director of Operations with Training Squadron 31 at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, providing over 1,800 instructional flight hours to multi-engine student pilots. Bancroft transferred to the Kentucky Air National Guard in 2008, serving as an Operations Officer and Chief of Standardization & Evaluations with the 123rd Contingency Response Group in Louisville, Ky. Subsequent command tours include the 123rd Global Mobility Readiness Squadron in 2012, the 123rd Global Mobility Squadron in 2014 and the 123rd Contingency Response Group in 2016. Bancroft’s operational experience includes Operations Southern Watch, Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, Tomodachi/Pacific Passage, Unified Response, United Assistance and Inherent Resolve. As a Command Pilot, Bancroft has accumulated over 3,600 flight hours with more than 500 combat and combat support hours flown.
Bachelor of Arts in Biology, University of Louisville, Louisville, Ky.
Squadron Officer School (in residence), Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
Air Command and Staff College (by correspondence)
Air War College (by correspondence)
- February 1996 – March 1998, Air Terminal Operation Center Flight Commander, 3rd Aerial Port Squadron (Air Mobility Command), Pope Air Force Base, N.C.
- March 1998 – March 1999, Logistics Operations Officer, Joint Special Operations Command (U.S. Special Operations Command), Fort Bragg, N.C.
- March 1999 – February 2000, Student, Primary Undergraduate Pilot Training, Training Squadron 3 (U.S. Navy), Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Fla.
- February 2000 – October 2000, Student, Advanced Multi-Engine Undergraduate Pilot Training, Training Squadron 35 (U.S. Navy), Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas
- October 2000 – May 2004, Flight Commander, C-130H3 Aircraft Commander, 50th Airlift Squadron (Air Mobility Command), Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark.
- May 2004 – November 2008, T-44A/C Instructor Pilot, Evaluator Pilot, Functional Check Pilot, Chief of Standardization & Evaluations, Director of Operations, Training Squadron 31 (U.S. Navy), Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas
- November 2008 – April 2012, Operations Officer, Chief of Standardization & Evaluations, 123rd Contingency Response Group (Air Mobility Command), Kentucky Air National Guard, Louisville, Ky.
- April 2012 – September 2014, Commander, 123rd Global Mobility Readiness Squadron (Air Mobility Command), Kentucky Air National Guard, Louisville, Ky.
- September 2014 – November 2016, Commander, 123rd Global Mobility Squadron (Air Mobility Command), Kentucky Air National Guard, Louisville, Ky.
- November 2016 – August 2021, Commander, 123rd Contingency Response Group (Air Mobility Command), Kentucky Air National Guard, Louisville, Ky.
Rating: Command Pilot Flight hours: Over 3,600
Aircraft Flown: T-34C, T-37B, T-44A/C, TC-12B, C-130E/H2/H3
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Bronze Star Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters Air Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Aerial Achievement Medal
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster Air Force Achievement Medal
Air Force Combat Action Medal with one device
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor device and six oak leaf clusters Combat Readiness Medal with four oak leaf clusters
National Defense Service Medal with one device Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one device
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal with one device Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Armed Forces Service Medal with one device Humanitarian Service Medal with one device
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border and one oak leaf cluster
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant January 26, 1996
First Lieutenant January 26, 1998
Captain January 26, 2000
Major March 1, 2006
Lieutenant Colonel March 15, 2012
Colonel May 25, 2017
Current as of September 2021