Tinker Detco inducted into high school hall of fame

  • Published
  • By Wayne Amann
  • AFOSI Public Affairs

The career path of Air Force Office of Special Investigations Special Agent Lt. Col. Shannon Bancroft-James reads like a geography lesson.

Her hometown school system took copious notes, and on Nov. 7, the Allendale, Mich., Public Schools Hall of Fame welcomed her and four others as its 2019 Induction Class.

With only five inductees per year, for each of the past six years, SA Bancroft-James, Allendale High School Class of ‘93, joins an elite group of graduates who have exceptional career accomplishments. Her reaction?

“Very shocked,” she said. “It was an honor. I’m very lucky to be grouped with the other phenomenal people who were inducted. I hope my story can be an example for others.” 

Following high school, she attended Grand Rapids Community College and Grand Valley State University in Michigan, studying criminal justice. 

While there, she was enrolled at the police academy, but instead enlisted in the Air Force in 1996.

“I told my recruiter, ‘give me whatever job you have and I’ll make the most out of it,” she said. “I wanted to really try something different.”

While on active duty she earned a bachelor’s degree in Professional Aeronautics and an MBA in Criminal Justice, and Conflict and Negotiation Management from Embry-Riddle University.

From 1996 to 2004, she was stationed at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., as an Aerospace Physiology Technician.

“I worked with space suits U-2 pilots wear,” SA Bancroft-James recalled.

During her time at Beale, she was deployed to Saudi Arabia, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Cyprus, Japan, Hawaii and England.

In 2004, she received her commission from Officer Training School, graduating as a personnel officer assigned to Tyndall AFB, Fla.

In 2009, she retrained into the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, when she graduated from the United States Air Force Special Investigations Academy at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers, Glynco, Ga., to become a credentialed Special Agent.

“After I got my commission and before I crossflowed, I was still interested in law enforcement and criminal justice. It all lined up when I was able to crossflow into AFOSI,” she said.  

Since then, SA Bancroft-James has served in Germany, South Korea, Wyoming, Texas, Qatar, Afghanistan and Michigan prior to her current position as AFOSI Detachment 114 Commander, Tinker AFB, Okla. 

“I give all the credit for my success to my faith, my family and all the amazing opportunities the Air Force has given me,” she said.

Her Hall of Fame Induction certificate read in part, “We salute Shannon and are proud to welcome her to Allendale Public Schools Hall of Fame. Her achievements and career accomplishments are celebrated and recognized as outstanding examples of our schools and community.”

Those sentiments were echoed by AFOSI Commander, Brig. Gen. Terry L. Bullard.

“This is awesome, General Bullard wrote in his congratulations to SA Bancroft-James. “I’m so glad your school saw fit to do this as you’re more than deserving of the recognition. I hope your story inspires others to push themselves in what they elect to pursue.”    

The Hall of Fame induction is awarded through the Allendale Public Schools Foundation. The foundation was established in 2005, to provide funding for programs, scholarships and activities.  The school district and community are important for the advancement of student programs, teacher grants at every grade level and inducting Allendale graduates into the Hall of Fame.

Reflecting on her successful career SA Bancroft-James shared a heartfelt parting thought.

“Being raised on a farm and having my family as role models is the reason I have a strong work ethic, am stubborn, resilient and strong willed,” she said. “Despite all the adversity I faced, I would not change a thing because it has all led to where I am today.”