Grace Peterson — Air Force’s first female chief master sergeant
FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. — Grace Peterson became the first female chief master sergeant in 1960. She was not only the first female chief master sergeant, she was part of the original group of senior NCOs to be selected for the rank of E-9.
At the time of promotion, Peterson was the first sergeant of a 400-person Women in the Air Force, or WAF, squadron at McGuire Air Force Base, N.J.
Chief Peterson entered military service in New York City soon after the Dec. 7, 1941, attack that thrust America into World War II and joined what was then called the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps in 1942.
During an interview at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in 2010, Peterson said, “I joined because of the horrors of Pearl Harbor, and I felt I had to do something about it.”
Peterson recalled the first momentous day she entered WAAC as a boot trainee. She was sent to the first WAAC training center, which she called hastily established, at Fort Des Moines, Iowa.
The “genius” who prepared these facilities to receive the first females into the military will forever command her admiration, she said.
“Male Olive Drab coats were issued and trailed in the snow for the shorter girls. None of us needed mittens for the sleeves completely enveloped our arms,” she said.
The Central Florida Chapter of the Air Force Association recognized Air Education and Training Command with four awards Feb. 21 at the chapter’s Air Force Gala banquet in Orlando, Fla.
Eight 818th Mobility Support Advisory Squadron members recently deployed to Cameroon to take part in a 10-day joint aerial supply and medical readiness exercise aimed at enhancing the Cameroon military and other neighboring Central African partner countries’ logistical and resupplies capabilities.
An Airman assigned to Aviation Detachment 1, 52nd Operations Group was selected for the Air Force basketball team for the sixth time Feb. 27 at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. Since being on the team, the team has taken home a gold medal six years in a row.
Approximately 220 U.S. service members along with the U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor, C-17 Globemaster III, F-16 Fighting Falcon, B-52 Stratofortress, and KC-135 Stratotanker supported the 13th Australian International Air show.