Salutes & Awards

March 7, 2013

Desert Lightning Team’s newest chiefs

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Senior Airman Camilla Griffin
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Camilla Griffin)
Five of the seven chief master sergeant selectees from the Desert Lightning Team pose for a picture at the Mirage Club at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Feb. 23. Chief master sergeant is the highest enlisted rank in the United States Air Force.

The Desert Lightning Team Chiefs’ Group honored seven Airmen recently selected for promotion to the rank of chief master sergeant in a ceremony at the Mirage Club here Feb. 23.

The ceremony recognized DLT honorees for their hard work, dedication, loyalty and sacrifice as they achieved the highest enlisted rank in the Air Force.

The selectees are: included Senior Master Sgt. Benjamin Miranda, Jr. from Headquarters 12th Air Force/Air Forces Southern; Senior Master Sgt. David L. Anthony, Jr. from Headquarters 12th Air Force/Air Forces Southern; Senior Master Sgt. Angela M. Gagliano from the 355th Medical Support Squadron; Senior Master Sgt. Thomas J. Kelly II from Headquarters 12th Air Force/Air Forces Southern; Senior Master Sgt. Timothy J. Rus from the 755th Operations Support Squadron; Senior Master Sgt. Wendy C. Ragnone from the 355th Component Maintenance Squadron and Senior Master Sgt. Carlos Fajardo, Jr. from the 612th Theater Operations Group.

Retired Chief Master Sgt. David Campanale, the eleventh Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, congratulated the Airmen and offered them words of encouragement and perspectives.

“Be mindful of your new rank and the awesome responsibility that comes with it,” Campanale said. “Going from senior master sergeant to chief master sergeant is much more than adding another stripe and unlike any other promotion you have received. Chiefs are looked upon to serve in a far greater capacity than their technical expertise.”

With all the time, effort and traits one must possess to become a chief, once promoted there are more than a handful of duties and responsibilities given to the individuals, says the chief.

“They must have an even greater awareness of the total Air Force mission and be looked upon to provide a calming influence during challenging times,” Campanale said. “This has always been the case, but is even more critical today when our force is smaller than ever, has more global responsibilities than ever, has the oldest fleet of aircraft ever and must get the mission done amid budget restraints.”

According to Airforce.com, the average time in service for an Airman promoted to chief master sergeant is 22 and one-half years. Once selected, chiefs can serve for up to 30 years total active military service.

The rank of chief master sergeant was established by Congress in 1958 and only makes up one percent of the entire Air Force.

“Just be the best that you can be at what you are doing, and do so by improving your entire skill set,” Campanale said. “Stay fit, stay current and stay engaged.”




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(U.S. Air Force Illustration by Airman 1st Class Cheyenne Morigeau)

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