CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright
Fifty years ago, our Air Force made a significant step forward. Our senior leaders recognized the need for an enlisted voice on the headquarters staff and, after a significant vetting and interview process, selected Chief Master Sergeant Paul Airey to fill this role. Paul Airey became the first Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force on April 3, 1967.
I invite you to read through the interviews with the 17 Airmen who have served in the position since and reflect on their stories. I expect you will discover your own story in these pages. I hope you’ll also find insight into the issues we’ve faced over time and inspiration in the challenges we’ve overcome.
The Airmen who come to work with stripes on their sleeves have served as the backbone of the Air Force for several generations.
The birth and evolution of the Air Force Enlisted Professional Military Education paralleled the increasing trends for postsecondary education.
Two decades after the US Air Force became a separate military service, momentum began to grow for a new type of leader—an enlisted Airman who could represent and inspire the enlisted force from the highest levels of the Air Force.
A Chronology of the Air Force Enlisted Chevrons