Skip to content

Check Six: Chief Master Sergeants

June 15, 2020

Chief Master Sergeant (CMSgt) is the ninth, and highest, enlisted rank in the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Space Force, just above Senior Master Sergeant, and is a senior non-commissioned officer rank. The official term is “Chief Master Sergeant” or “Chief”.

Although the Air Force had been an independent service since 1947, the rank of chief master sergeant did not come into being until the authorization of the Military Pay Act of 1958. This act established the pay grades of E-8 and E-9, but without specifying titles for those pay grades. It wasn’t until late 1958 that the title chief master sergeant (and the accompanying rank insignia) was decided upon.

The original Chief Master Sergeant rank insignia (1958–1994) consisted of 2 chevrons on top, 3 stripes in the middle, and 3 rockers on bottom.

By Federal law, roughly one percent of the Air Force enlisted force may hold the rank of chief master sergeant.


Retiree News found a list of the assigned Hawaii Air National Guard Chief Master Sergeants as of February 20, 2002. A lot of recognizable names on the list.

HIANG Chief Master Sergeants as of February 20, 2002


The first Chief Master Sergeant in the Hawaii Air National Guard was Robert Choi, a charter member of the Air Guard since it’s Federal recognition in November 6, 1946.

Review an earlier Retiree News post about CMSgt Choi.

From → History

Comments are closed.