HomeAbout UsBiographiesDisplay

CHIEF MASTER SERGEANT OF THE AIR FORCE PAUL WESLEY AIREY

PRINT | E-MAIL

Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Paul Wesley Airey was adviser to Secretary of the Air Force Harold Brown and Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. John P. McConnell on matters concerning welfare, effective utilization and progress of the enlisted members of the Air Force. He was the first chief master sergeant appointed to this ultimate noncommissioned officer position and was selected from among 21 major air command nominees to become the first chief master sergeant of the Air Force. He was formally installed by Gen. McConnell on April 3, 1967.

The chief was born in New Bedford, Mass. He entered military service after two years of high school in Quincy, Mass. In 1948 he obtained his high school equivalency certificate, and later completed 62 semester hours of study at McKendree College, Lebanon, Ill. His military schooling has included courses in communication mechanics and personnel management. He is a graduate of the Air Defense Command Noncommissioned Officer Academy.

Chief Airey spent much of his 27-year career as a first sergeant. During World War II, however, he served as an aerial gunner on B-24 bombers, and is credited with 28 combat missions in Europe. After he was forced to bail out of his flak-damaged aircraft, he was captured and became a prisoner of war in Germany from July 1944 to May 1945. During the Korean conflict, he was awarded the Legion of Merit while assigned at Naha Air Base, Okinawa. The award, an uncommon decoration for an enlisted man, was earned for creating a means of constructing equipment from salvaged parts that improved corrosion control of sensitive radio and radar components.

Before he became chief master sergeant of the Air Force, he was assigned to the Air Defense Command's 4756th Civil Engineering Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., where he was the unit's first sergeant. He retired Aug. 1, 1970.

MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Service Medal
Air Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Commendation Medal
POW Medal

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS AND ASSOCIATIONS
Air Force Memorial Foundation
Air University Foundation
Airmen Memorial Museum

EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force April 3, 1967

Engage

Facebook Twitter
.@KunsanAirBase and 38th Fighter Group strengthen alliance through US-ROKAF Friendship Day. https://t.co/tdybfYWs8a https://t.co/IwGAM9yima
A #USAF #F16 receives fuel from a #KC135 w/the 28th Expeditionary Aerial Refueling Squadron in support of Operation… https://t.co/9ufagbwXmp
To enhance their ability to adapt, train and integrate, Wisconsin @AirNatlGuard #Airmen conducted aerial refueling… https://t.co/nzCMePgXU7
BREAKING: The #AirForce announces bases to support #B21 Raider mission. @Team_Tinker @EdwardsAFBhttps://t.co/j92e7uKAro
14-year-old Fallon Emery, a cancer warrior, was recognized for her fighting spirit as #AirmanForADay.… https://t.co/cVaKy4anEb
#ICYMI: #AirForce Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen W. Wilson recognized Cadet 2nd Class Kyle Haak as Cadet of the Y… https://t.co/djHw2rBNFL
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Thanks, COLAF & @USEmbassyBogota, for the warm welcome. Colombia is one of our most capable & reliable partners in Lat…
RT @SecAFOfficial: We want small innovative companies to work with the @usairforce and we’re willing to change the way we do business for i…
#ICYMI: Luxembourgers and Americans gathered at #Luxembourg #American Cemetery and Memorial in Luxembourg, Nov. 11,… https://t.co/sUOvKZ6WWE
Members of the @AFResearchLab participated in the Big Brothers Big Sisters, Science, Technology, Engineering, Art a… https://t.co/n5eFygccZc
His legacy shall live on! Retired CMSgt Alvin Benner was honored @TeamBarksdale for serving over 50 years of combi… https://t.co/KO5C4uWdUJ
RT @theCaGuard: Two of the California Army National Guard's new M-model UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters head from SoCal to NorCal, Nov. 10, to…
When it comes to diagnostic imaging, doctors seek out radiology and these @341MissileWing #Airmen detect medical is… https://t.co/QUEutqdNGV
A #VietnamWar vet & #PurpleHeart recipient, discussed with @RAFMildenhall #Airmen how tragedy on the battlefield of… https://t.co/Y0uMVhAKrW
RT @andclev: .@SecAFOfficial says the @usairforce is going to have a pitch day on March 6-7, aiming to attract small, innovative businesses…
With the help of #Airmen all across the #AirForce, @TeamTyndall's munitions flight have assessed their munitions fa… https://t.co/R46vj2thnD
.@NASA Researchers came to the @AFResearchLab with a simple question. How does an electrical arc behave in a vacuum… https://t.co/GwJzzRgy8X
The Logistics Career Broadening Program, it's a little known program for company grade logistics officers that pack… https://t.co/LinlGkV6Ps