“I’m here to say where there’s a will, there’s a way, If you want to work hard and do something you can do it.”
Scott "Yogi" Beare
Scott "Yogi" Beare
Lt. Commander Ret.
US Navy Former pilot Blue Angels
About Scott "Yogi" Beare
Scott “Yogi” Beare, a member of the elite Navy Blue Angels, told the story of his life Monday, from his rocky adolescence to his ascent through the ranks as a Naval aviator.
He was in town speaking at the Gainesville Rotary Club.
The Blue Angels, the Navy’s six-person flight demonstration team, was formed in 1946 as a recruiting effort for the Navy.
Beare worked his way up to the extremely selective squad from the very bottom.
“I’m the only guy who came in (to the Blue Angels) from the enlisted ranks,” Beare said. “What a great recruiting tool to show people that where there’s a will there’s a way. It doesn’t matter how well you did in high school, everybody has challenges in life. It doesn’t matter what the challenges are, it’s how you address those challenges.”
Beare joined the U.S. Navy in 1980 after he said he realized he needed to get his life together.
“About a year after I graduated high school, I kind of realized, hey, you’re going nowhere,” Beare said. “And I said to myself after a couple of occurrences — ‘you have to make a decision now. You’re either going to get on track and make something of yourself or you’re going do what everybody else in the family has done after high school and go to work for the rest of your life.’ So I went down to the recruiting office and joined the Navy.”
After taking aptitude tests, Beare was placed in nuclear power school, where he learned all about submarines.
But before too long, Beare said he realized submarines were not for him.
“I said ‘I want to fly,’” Beare said. “Finally, I got my executive officer in the unit to recommend flight training.”
In the late 1980s, Beare was living the dream.
“The movie ‘Top Gun’ had just come out and everybody wanted to be a Navy pilot,” Beare said. “And here I was in flight training in Pensacola running around in a green flight suit and, boy, you thought abo ut someone who thought he was something special.”
But Beare said it was not all glamorous; there was grueling physical training along with tough classroom instruction.
“I probably never worked as hard as I did as a flight student in Pensacola, Fla.,” Beare said.
Beare was later hand-picked to attend the real TOPGUN, the Navy’s advanced fighter weapons school.
“It’s a graduate-level education for hand-picked guys from the fleet to go get graduate level knowledge on enemy tactics, enemy air craft, blue force tactics,” Beare said.
Beare put his training to use in Operation Desert Storm. He had spent his military career in peace times, making the conflict in Iraq his first experience in combat.
“I never though in a million years I would fly and get shot at,” Beare said. “It was very serious, for me; it was an eye-opener. Every time we were in Iraq we were getting shot at.”
In 1995, Beare said he decided to go after a new challenge — a spot in the Blue Angels, the Navy’s most elite flight demonstration group.
“I rushed the Blue Angels, just like a fraternity. First year, they didn’t pay attention to me. ... No chance in the world.” But the second year he went after it, he earned a spot on the squad. What made him stand out was the way he had started in the enlisted ranks and worked his way up through every level in the Navy, he said.
“I’m here to say where there’s a will, there’s a way,” Beare said. “If you want to work hard and do something you can do it.”