PATRICK SPACE FORCE BASE, Fla. --
Four 920th Rescue Wing chief master sergeants were recognized for their achievements and exceptional service during a joint Chief Recognition ceremony at the Tides Collocated Club May 6.
In 1958, Congress passed The Career Compensation Act, paving the way to achieve the highest enlisted rank of E-9. Only one percent of the enlisted force will ever serve in this grade. These senior noncommissioned officers hold key leadership roles; responsible for serving as a senior advisor to officers and commanders, providing leadership and guidance to enlisted troops and ensuring the welfare, morale and readiness of the enlisted force. Additionally, they are also responsible for upholding standards for the enlisted force, providing training and support to ensure those standards are met and they serve as a liaison between the enlisted force and the chain of command.
Chief Master Sgt. George Taylor, 920th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron senior enlisted leader, addressed the audience, speaking to the importance of attaining the highest enlisted rank in the armed services.
“From the beginning of organized military life, select enlisted individuals have surfaced as leaders because of their courage, knowledge and superb abilities. Those in the forefront evolved into the senior non-commissioned officers of today. At any given time only one percent of our enlisted force may hold the top enlisted grade. Our selectees earned the privilege of being called chief through hard work, demonstrated leadership and loyal service,” said Taylor.
The candle-lighting ceremony, a long-standing tradition in which an Airman from each enlisted rank from Airman Basic to Chief Master Sergeant, was performed. Each Airman lit a single candle in sequence demonstrating the journey to become a chief master sergeant.
“Everyone present has shared the pride we feel in being selected to the top one percent of our service’s enlisted force. We can never go too far in expressing our enthusiasm for having the opportunity to serve in the greatest military this world has ever known,” said Chief Master Sgt. Brandon Daugherty, senior enlisted leader for the 920th Operations Group.
The 920th RQW members recognized were Chief Master Sgts. Robert Kurzen, 39th Rescue Squadron, Scott Spangler, 920th Operations Group, John Fuller, 920th Maintenance Squadron and Timothy Hendrickson, 920th Maintenance Squadron.