Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force

The Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force (CMSAF) is a unique non-commissioned rank in the United States Air Force. The holder of this rank and position of office represents the highest enlisted level of leadership in the Air Force, and as such, provides direction for the enlisted corps and represents their interests, as appropriate, to the American public, and to those in all levels of government. The one exception to the status of the CMSAF as the highest-ranking enlisted member of the Air Force, which has yet to occur, is when an Air Force chief is serving as the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In this instance, the SEAC would outrank the CMSAF. The CMSAF is appointed by the Air Force Chief of Staff (AF/CC) and serves as the senior enlisted advisor to the Air Force Chief of Staff and the Secretary of the Air Force on all issues regarding the welfare, readiness, morale, and proper utilization and progress of the enlisted force. While the CMSAF is a non-commissioned officer, the billet is protocol equivalent to a lieutenant general.[1]

The current Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force is Chief Kaleth O. Wright. On February 17, 2017, Chief Kaleth O. Wright succeeded Chief James A. Cody, to become the 18th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force.[2]

Chief Master Sergeant of the United States Air Force
CMSAF Wright
Incumbent
Kaleth O. Wright

since February 17, 2017
FormationApril 3, 1967
First holderPaul W. Airey
WebsiteOfficial Website

Rank insignia and positional colors

On November 1, 2004,[3] the CMSAF's rank insignia was updated to include the Great Seal of the United States of America and two stars in the upper field. This puts the insignia in line with those of the Army and Marine Corps which have similar insignia to denote their senior enlisted servicemen. The laurel wreath around the star in the lower field remained unchanged, to retain the legacy of the Chief Master Sergeants of the Air Force.

The CMSAF wears distinctive collar insignia. Traditionally, enlisted airmen's collar insignia was silver-colored "U.S." within a ring. The CMSAF's collar brass replaced the standard ring with a silver laurel wreath. The CMSAF also wears a distinctive cap device. Enlisted airmen's cap device is the Coat of Arms of the United States, surrounded by a ring, all struck from silver-colored metal. Much as with the position's distinctive collar brass, the ring is replaced with a laurel wreath for the CMSAF. The Sergeant Major of the Army wears an identical cap device, albeit of gold-colored metal.[4]

The Sergeant Major of the Army, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force and the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman are the only members of the United States armed forces below the rank of brigadier general/rear admiral, lower half to be authorized a positional color (flag). First considered in 1992,[5] the SMA's color has been authorized since 22 March 1999.[6] The Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force colors were authorized in January 2013.[7]

The official term of address for the CMSAF is "Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force" or "Chief."[8]

E9 USAF CMSAF 1967-1991

1967–1991

E9d USAF CMSAF old

1991–2004

E9d USAF CMSAF

2004-present

Chief Master Sergeants of the Air Force

# Picture Name Tenure from Tenure to
1 Airey pw- Paul W. Airey April 3, 1967 July 31, 1969
2 Harlow dl Donald L. Harlow August 1, 1969 September 30, 1971
3 Kisling rd3 Richard D. Kisling October 1, 1971 September 30, 1973
4 Barnes tn Thomas N. Barnes October 1, 1973 July 31, 1977
5 Gaylor rd2 Robert D. Gaylor August 1, 1977 July 31, 1979
6 Mccoy jm James M. McCoy August 1, 1979 July 31, 1981
7 Andrews al Arthur L. Andrews August 1, 1981 July 31, 1983
8 Sam E. Parish Sam E. Parish August 1, 1983 June 30, 1986
9 James C. Binnicker James C. Binnicker July 1, 1986 July 31, 1990
10 Gary R. Pfingston Gary R. Pfingston August 1, 1990 October 25, 1994
11 David J. Campanale David J. Campanale October 26, 1994 November 1, 1996
12 Eric W. Benken Eric W. Benken November 5, 1996 July 30, 1999
13 Frederick J. Finch Frederick J. Finch July 31, 1999 June 28, 2002
14 CMSAFmurray Gerald R. Murray July 1, 2002 June 30, 2006
15 Rodney J. McKinley Rodney J. McKinley June 30, 2006 June 30, 2009
16 CMSgt James A. Roy James A. Roy July 1, 2009 January 24, 2013
17 CMSAF James Cody James A. Cody January 24, 2013 February 17, 2017
18 CMSAF Wright Kaleth O. Wright February 17, 2017 Incumbent

See also

References

  1. ^ Department of the Air Force Protocol Precedence List
  2. ^ "CSAF Announces CMSAF #18". Retrieved November 16, 2016.
  3. ^ Jablonski, Tech. Sgt. David A. "New CMSAF insignia debuts Nov. 1". Retrieved January 23, 2013.
  4. ^ "AFI-36-2903" (PDF). United States Air Force. 1 June 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 October 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  5. ^ Elder, p. 40.
  6. ^ U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-06-10. Retrieved 2013-11-18.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link).
  7. ^ CMSAF Transition Ceremony Archived February 17, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "AFI-36-2618 Enlisted Force Structure" (PDF). United States Air Force. 27 February 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 March 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
Air Force Distinguished Service Medal

The Air Force Distinguished Service Medal was created by an act of the United States Congress on July 6, 1960. The medal was intended as a new decoration of the United States Air Force to replace the policy of awarding the Army Distinguished Service Medal to Air Force personnel.The Air Force Distinguished Service Medal is awarded to any member of the United States Air Force who has distinguished himself or herself by exceptionally meritorious service to the United States Government in a duty of great responsibility. The interpretation of the phrase "great responsibility" means that this medal is generally awarded only to officers who hold at least the rank of Major General. However, as is customary for most military decorations, the requirements for the Distinguished Service Medal are interpreted more liberally when awarded upon retirement. As a result, it is the typical decoration for a retiring Brigadier General, and in recent years it has also been awarded to the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force upon retirement.

Cases of the award of this decoration to an individual who was not a general officer, or the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, are unusual. The medal is typically awarded to senior Air Force generals. Two notable exceptions are astronauts Buzz Aldrin who was awarded this decoration even though he retired as a colonel and Colonel David Scott (who flew on Gemini 8, Apollo 9, and Apollo 15) who was awarded the medal twice.Recipients during the medal's first 6 years included General Emmett E. "Rosie" O'Donnell, Jr. (a United States Air Force four-star general who served as Commander in Chief, Pacific Air Forces from 1959 to 1963). O'Donnell also led the first B-29 Superfortress attack upon Tokyo during World War II after the 1942 Doolittle Raid.

Another early recipient of the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal was Major General Osmond J. Ritland, USAF, who received his medal on November 30, 1965, upon his retirement.Additional awards are denoted with oak leaf clusters.This award is comparable to the Department of the Air Force Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service given to civilian employees of the Department of the Air Force.

Arthur L. Andrews

Arthur L. "Bud" Andrews (March 9, 1934 – October 26, 1996) was a senior airman in the United States Air Force who served as the 7th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force from 1981 to 1983.

David J. Campanale

David J. Campanale (born October 7, 1952) is a retired senior airman of the United States Air Force who served as the 11th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force from 1994 to 1996.

Donald L. Harlow

Donald L. Harlow (November 20, 1920 – October 1, 1997) was a senior airman of the United States Air Force who served as the 2nd Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force from 1969 to 1971.

Eric W. Benken

Eric W. Benken (born August 20, 1951) is a retired senior airman of the United States Air Force who served as the 12th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force from 1996 to 1999. He was the last Vietnam War veteran to hold the position.

Gary R. Pfingston

Gary R. Pfingston (January 2, 1940 – June 23, 2007) was a senior airman in the United States Air Force who served as the 10th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force from 1990 to 1994.

Gerald R. Murray

Gerald R. Murray (born January 18, 1956) is a retired senior airman of the United States Air Force who served as the 14th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force from 2002 to 2006.

James A. Cody

James A. Cody (born June 19, 1965) is a retired airman of the United States Air Force who served as the 17th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force from 24 January 2013 until his retirement on February 17, 2017. He served as the personal adviser to the Chief of Staff and the Secretary of the Air Force on all issues regarding the welfare, readiness, morale, and proper utilization and progress of the enlisted force.

James A. Roy

James A. Roy (born 1964) is a retired Chief Master Sergeant of the United States Air Force who served as the 16th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force from 30 June 2009 to 24 January 2013. He was previously the Senior Enlisted Leader and Advisor for United States Pacific Command.

James C. Binnicker

James C. Binnicker (July 23, 1938 – March 21, 2015) was a senior airman in the United States Air Force who served as the 9th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force from 1986 to 1990.

James M. McCoy

James M. McCoy (born July 30, 1930) is a retired senior airman of the United States Air Force who served as the 6th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force from 1979 to 1981.

James McCoy

James McCoy may refer to:

James McCoy (politician) (1821–1895), California politician

James B. McCoy, Wisconsin politician

James M. McCoy, sixth Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force

James Russell McCoy (1845–1924), Magistrate of the British Overseas Territory of Pitcairn Island

Kaleth O. Wright

Chief Master Sergeant Kaleth O. Wright is a senior noncommissioned officer in the United States Air Force who has served as the 18th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force since February 17, 2017. In this post he is the personal adviser to the Chief of Staff and the Secretary of the Air Force on all issues regarding the welfare, readiness, morale, and proper utilization and progress of the enlisted force. Wright is the second African American to serve in this position.

Paul W. Airey

Paul Wesley Airey (December 13, 1923 – March 11, 2009) was a senior airman of the United States Air Force who served as the first Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force from 1967 to 1969.

Richard D. Kisling

Richard D. Kisling (November 22, 1923 – November 3, 1985) was a senior airman of the United States Air Force who served as the 3rd Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force from 1971 to 1973.

Robert Gaylor

Robert D. Gaylor (born May 8, 1930) is a retired senior airman of the United States Air Force who served as the 5th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force from 1977 to 1979.

Rodney J. McKinley

Rodney J. McKinley (born January 17, 1956) is a retired senior airman of the United States Air Force who served as the 15th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force from 2006 to 2009.

Sam Parish

Sam E. Parish (born October 2, 1937) is a retired senior airman of the United States Air Force who served as the 8th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force from 1983 to 1986.

Warrant Officer of the Air Force

Warrant Officer of the Air Force (WOFF-AF) is the most senior Warrant Officer in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). It is a singular appointment, being it is only held by one person at any time. The special insignia for the WOFF-AF is the Australian coat of arms with a wreath around it. The current Warrant Officer of the Air Force is Robert Swanwick.Based on the United States Air Force practice of appointing a Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, the WOFF-AF is responsible to the Chief of Air Force (CAF). The post was created by the then Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Barry Gration, in 1993 to provide a conduit between Air Force's senior leadership and the airman ranks.The appointment is the equivalent of the Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army (RSM-A) in the Australian Army and Warrant Officer of the Navy (WO-N) in the Royal Australian Navy.

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