HomeNewsArticle Display

50 years of the CMSAF celebrated

50th Anniversary of the CMSAF - ASC17

The Air Force Association presents medals commemorating the 50-year anniversary of the chief master sergeant of the Air Force position to former Chiefs Master Sgt. of the Air Force Eric Benken, Frederick Finch, Gerald Murray, James Roy and current Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright after they participated in a panel discussion during the Air Force Association Air, Space and Cyber conference in National Harbor, Md., Sept. 20, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo by Andy Morataya)

50th Anniversary of the CMSAF - ASC17

Former Chiefs Master Sgt. of the Air Force Eric Benken, Frederick Finch, Gerald Murray and James Roy participate in a panel discussion during the Air Force Association Air, Space and Cyber conference in National Harbor, Md., Sept. 20, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo by Andy Morataya)

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (AFNS) -- The 50th anniversary of the chief master sergeant of the Air Force was celebrated during the Air Force Association Air, Space and Cyber Conference Sept. 20, 2017.

Four former CMSAFs: Eric Benken, Frederick “Jim” Finch, Gerald Murray and James Roy, discussed topics about history, mentorship and balancing healthy work and life.

There was a 20-year span between the establishment of the Air Force in 1947 and the CMSAF position in 1967. The position was created to allow enlisted personnel to freely express opinions and share recommendations on matters ranging from mission effectiveness to personnel concerns.

During the panel, the former chiefs paid homage to the first CMSAF Paul Airey, a World War II airborne radio operator who was shot down in Germany, and served as a prisoner of war. He dedicated his 27-year career to taking care of Airmen. In 1967, he was named the first CMSAF.

“He absolutely set the example for all of us,” said Murray. “We all had the opportunity to live under his tutelage as he continued to serve...until the day he died a few years ago. We could not have [had] anyone to set a better example for us, whatsoever, in our Air Force.”

They discussed the responsibility of mentoring and guiding young enlisted members and officers too.

“As [noncommissioned officers] and senior NCOs, I think one of the most important things that we can do is mentoring our officers, especially our young officers,” said Murray. “It is important for our young officers to know the details, responsibilities and how our Airmen carry out their duties.”

CMSAFs are engaged and focused on taking care of Airmen and their families. They commit to building and maintaining a strong Air Force community, caring for members and providing a sense of belonging for all Airmen.

“[My wife] and our two young ones have taught me that people have lives,” Roy said. “People have children, grandchildren, grandparents and parents [who] need help and it’s a challenge. On the other side of that, we want the mission to get done, but we all know every once in awhile you [have] to take a knee, and you have to know when to take that knee.”

As the panel concluded, a congressional proclamation was read addressing the 50th anniversary of the CMSAF position. The U.S. Air Force honor guard also presented medals to the former chiefs, and current CMSAF, commemorating the anniversary. The medals symbolized distinguished and inspirational service to our nation and protecting those who serve on the front lines every day.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @AETCommand: BIG change to the @usairforce's special warfare recruiting & initial training pipeline aimed at ensuring enlisted recruits…
This HGU-55/P helmet is fitted with a Hybrid Optical-based Inertial Tracker and day visor at Moody Air Force Base,… https://t.co/rMzsO03MLL
BRRRRRRTT The @A10DemoTeam travels the world showcasing the unique capabilities of the Thunderbolt II. The… https://t.co/giQWIwD0rA
Congratulations to @388fw and @419fw for reaching "full warfighting capability" with the F-35A Lightning II ✈️… https://t.co/5BwOupKSU7
Easy like Sunday morning. https://t.co/7Yp9fKDHnn
Congratulations to Air Force Civil Engineer Tim Sullivan, who was named the 2020 Federal Engineer of the Year! 🎉… https://t.co/tIafy8KqKs
Did you know anxiety and depression are invisible wound conditions that can affect our Airmen? They can manifest in… https://t.co/7TJn1CICbh
Airmen practice joint close air support during exercise Cope North 20 to improve combat readiness, develop integrat… https://t.co/GLpsJAlvCx
RT @inspire_af_: The @usairforce understands the importance of innovation, and @AETCommand is continuing to move towards student-centered l…
RT @AirmanMagazine: These @usairforce U-2 pilots fly at 70,000 ft, where they provide vital reconnaissance for U.S. combatant commanders.…
Spouses, family members, & caregivers are a vital part of the #AirForce family. They take care of us & we must take… https://t.co/ayzETFm5M1
The Air Force Gunsmith Shop recently released a redesigned M4 Carbine that will fit in most ejection seats. This Ai… https://t.co/f4UPJLlPxp
RT @AETCommand: Innovating in your everyday environment doesn't always lend itself to creativity! Check out the Spark Cell space at Altus…
.@USAFCENT Airmen refuel a KC-135 with a Force system in Southwest Asia. This new capability provides more efficien… https://t.co/fA2OARRUqj
RT @ArmedwScience: Civil engineering is a key part of a deployed environment. Listen as this airman explains the civil engineering capabili…
WATCH: @SecAFOfficial joins @SecArmy and @SECNAV for a discussion with @CSIS on the state of the services, defense… https://t.co/Vfk09EMBdP
Congratulations Capt Lockridge. #AimHigh https://t.co/fcJQi1vsFO
.@ABCSharkTank, anyone? The Air Force Spark Tank announced its 2020 selectees. 6 Airmen were selected to present… https://t.co/5aoPxZ2OTF
Capt Jessica Knizel was the first of 10 Air Force Aerospace Nurse Practitioners. To meet the qualifications, Kniz… https://t.co/hu2WXp8i8z