Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force

The Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force (acronym: 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, unless an enlisted airman is serving as the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman. The CMSAF 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 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.

Chief Master Sergeant of the United States Air Force
Flag of the Chief Master Sergeant of the US Air Force.gif
Flag of the CMSAF[1]
CMSAF Wright.jpg
Kaleth O. Wright

since February 17, 2017 (2017-02-17)
United States Air Force
Member ofThe Air Staff[2]
Reports toChief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force
AppointerChief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force
FormationApril 3, 1967; 53 years ago (1967-04-03)
First holderPaul W. Airey
Salary$8,844.30 per month, regardless of the incumbent's service longevity[3]
WebsiteOfficial Website

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.[4] On June 19, 2020, it was announced that Chief Wright will be succeeded by Command Chief Master Sergeant JoAnne Bass.[5]

Although the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force is a non-commissioned officer, protocol states that the CMSAF has precedence over all lieutenant generals at joint events, and over all lieutenant generals except the Assistant Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force at Air Force exclusive events.[6]

Rank insignia and positional colorsEdit

On November 1, 2004,[7] 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.[8]

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,[9] the SMA's color has been authorized since 22 March 1999.[10] The Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force colors were authorized in January 2013.[11]

The official term of address for the CMSAF is "Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force" or "Chief."[12]

Chief Master Sergeants of the Air ForceEdit

# Picture Name Tenure from Tenure to
1   Airey Paul W. Airey April 3, 1967 July 31, 1969
2   Harlow Donald L. Harlow August 1, 1969 September 30, 1971
3   Kisling Richard D. Kisling October 1, 1971 September 30, 1973
4   Barnes Thomas N. Barnes October 1, 1973 July 31, 1977
5   Gaylor Robert D. Gaylor August 1, 1977 July 31, 1979
6   Puckett James M. McCoy August 1, 1979 July 31, 1981
7   Andrews Arthur L. Andrews August 1, 1981 July 31, 1983
8   Parish Sam E. Parish August 1, 1983 June 30, 1986
9   Binnicker James C. Binnicker July 1, 1986 July 31, 1990
10   Pfingston Gary R. Pfingston August 1, 1990 October 25, 1994
11   Campanale David J. Campanale October 26, 1994 November 1, 1996
12   Benken Eric W. Benken November 5, 1996 July 30, 1999
13   Finch Frederick J. Finch July 31, 1999 June 28, 2002
14   Murray Gerald R. Murray July 1, 2002 June 30, 2006
15   McKinley Rodney J. McKinley June 30, 2006 June 30, 2009
16   Roy James A. Roy July 1, 2009 January 24, 2013
17   Cody James A. Cody January 24, 2013 February 17, 2017
18   Wright Kaleth O. Wright February 17, 2017 Incumbent
19   Bass JoAnne S. Bass Incoming (August 14, 2020)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "CMSAF Transition Ceremony". Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  2. ^ "Air Force Senior Leaders". Retrieved February 5, 2020.
  3. ^ "Monthly rates of Basic Pay (Enlisted) – effective January 1, 2020". Defense Financing and Accounting Service. Retrieved March 25, 2020.
  4. ^ "CSAF Announces CMSAF #18". Retrieved November 16, 2016.
  5. ^ "Chief Master Sgt. JoAnne S. Bass named Air Force's 19th Chief Master Sergeant". U.S. Air Force. Retrieved 2020-06-19.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Jablonski, Tech. Sgt. David A. "New CMSAF insignia debuts Nov. 1". Retrieved January 23, 2013.
  8. ^ "AFI-36-2903" (PDF). United States Air Force. 1 June 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 October 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  9. ^ Elder, p. 40.
  10. ^ 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).
  11. ^ CMSAF Transition Ceremony Archived February 17, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "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.

External linksEdit