Like the military, sports have many moving parts in order to properly execute what is seen on television every day. From the grounds crew to the scorekeepers, countless people work tirelessly to make these events happen. One of these moving parts are the officials. Without their contributions, the players you see would not be able to play the game they love at the level they do.


With the military and sports sharing this common theme, Tech. Sgt. Jason Schneider, a special hands representative for the 76th Aerial Port Squadron and secretary for the Department of Veteran’s Affairs has been able to combine his love of sports and work ethic from the military to fuel his life by working as a college baseball umpire.


“Just like in the military, if you work hard you can work your way up into college ball and it’s very competitive,” said Schneider. “I feel like I’m on the higher end of that because I feel like I am very competitive myself, I feel that I have high standards for myself and I want the kids to know that when they see me show up that they’re going to have great umpiring from me. I want to give them my best because they deserve that because they’re playing a game and they want somebody out there who cares. I truly care about doing a good job for them because that’s what they deserve.”


Schneider started his officiating career in 2018 as a football referee. After a couple of years, he was asked to officiate basketball and baseball as well. After completing his classes, he began baseball in 2012, doing youth and junior varsity high school games. But he soon would have an itch to do more.


“It got to the point where I wanted something more competitive and faster,” said Schneider. “So in the fall of 2016, I made a call to the guy who runs the College Baseball Umpires Association, I sent in my application fee, and in 2017 I started my first season with college baseball.”


Throughout his military career, Schneider has had breaks in action during his time with the Marine Corps but ultimately continued to come back and serve. Now, nearing 20 years of service this year, he reflects on what made him continue coming back.


“I have a devoted love for the Marine Corps, so I came back in and that put me at ten years.” Then, from that point forward I decided that I wanted to stay in and retire. I needed something that was going to work with my family and my way of life and what I wanted to do outside of the military and the Air Force was able to provide that for me.”


After retirement, Schneider looks forward to spending more time with his son and seeing where baseball will take him with hopes of consistently umpiring Division I college baseball in the future.


“Getting in with the right people and doing the right things is extremely important in advancing in this. Also, having the ability to put in the work and wanting to put in the work, going to camps, applying what you learned and always doing the right thing is very pertinent to this job.”