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
#SecurityForces #Airmen from the 822nd Base Defender Squadron at #MoodyAFB, #Georgia, are ensuring the security of… https://t.co/pxHkYDPfcA
#BREAKING: #USAF extends High Year of Tenure for E-4 through E-6: https://t.co/YAigB5peEe https://t.co/455ltEgUMc
RT @SecAFOfficial: Just hit 10,000 followers. Thanks for your support! #USAF https://t.co/PNcNkqpt1w
RT @DVIDSHub: Structures Airmen from 823rd RED HORSE squadron complete a roofing project at Tyndall AFB, Fla. as they work to restore opera…
RT @AFW2: After one set at the #2018InvictusGames wheelchair tennis competition #Navy Airman Chance Field and #AirForce MSgt Brian William…
#Airmen from @TeamTyndall, return to base housing on Oct. 17 for the first time since #HurricaneMichael devastated… https://t.co/ABaxOVCWkv
One #AirForce family tells the story of their evacuation from @TeamTyndall due to #HurricaneMichael.… https://t.co/o5GltTgu4E
It's time for #WIP! Which one is your favorite? https://t.co/sdX64yLiPQ https://t.co/PQZRKILRzx
RT @WJHG_TV: On-base personnel have been allowed on base the past four days to return to their homes, evaluate the damage, and get some of…
RT @TeamTyndall: Daily progress is being made by Airmen across #TyndallAFB including communications infrastructure coming back online, help…
Cancer is a life-changing experience. Two military spouses told their stories of surviving breast cancer.… https://t.co/tXcZGrCzxK
The CONUS Evacuation Order for #Airmen assigned to @TeamTyndall has been updated: https://t.co/n74gtQ9KTm https://t.co/w1RqiSznFm
The STS #Airmen mission @Hurlburt_Field enables the #USAF access across the globe. By surveying landing zones & com… https://t.co/AXsdhrVGuJ
Master Sgt. Craig Domko, 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group #firstsergeant, first look at #Airmen's dormitories followin… https://t.co/s5QZRNHjev
RT @HollomanAFB: The seamless partnership between the 49th LRS & 635th MMG allowed for over 360 tons of supplies to be sent nearly 2,000 mi…
RT @ACC_Commander: Glad to see these Tyndall Raptors getting cleaned off and ready to fly again as part of Tyndall recovery efforts. #Airme
RT @DepSecDef: Great visit to @388fw & @HAFB alongside @GenDaveGoldfein & @usairforce senior leaders to talk #F35 maintenance & performance…
RT @NPR: Hundreds of military families have been displaced from Tyndall Air Force base as a result of Hurricane Michael. https://t.co/zCGM…
RT @TeamTyndall: It's been more than a week since #HurricaneMichael hit the #Florida panhandle & @TeamTyndall, #Airmen are working around t…
RT @LukeAFB: Team Luke was proud to host @POTUS, as well as @DepSecDef & @SecAFOfficial today to showcase defense capabilities. #POTUSatLuk