Chief Master Sgt. JoAnn Bass will become the first woman to serve as the Air Force’s chief master sergeant, Air Force Times reported Friday.'
Bass will succeed Kaleth Wright, who will retire Aug. 14 from the Air Force. With the promotion, Bass becomes the 19th chief master sergeant in Air Force history. She is the current command chief for the Second Air Force.
“I’m honored and humbled to be selected as the 19th chief master sergeant of the Air Force and follow in the footsteps of some of the best leaders our Air Force has ever known,” Bass said in a news release. “The history of the moment isn’t lost on me; I’m just ready to get after it. And I’m extremely grateful for and proud of my family and friends who helped me along the way.”
Bass’ groundbreaking promotion follows that of incoming Air Force chief of staff Gen. Charles Brown, whose confirmation by the Senate last week makes him the first African American to be the head of a U.S. service branch.
“I could not be more excited to work side by side with Chief Bass,” Brown said in a news release. “She has unique skills that will help us both lead the total force and live up to the high expectations of our airmen.
“She is a proven leader who has performed with distinction at every step of her accomplished career.I have no doubt that Chief Bass will provide wise counsel as we pursue and implement initiatives to develop and empower airmen at all levels.”
Bass will advise Brown and Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett on the welfare, morale and readiness of the Air Force’s more than 410,000 active, guard and reserve airmen, the Air Force Times reported.
Bass will move to the Pentagon from Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi, where she has served since June 2018, Stars and Stripes reported. She has served for 27 years in the United States and Germany, the newspaper reported. She also spent time with the 24th Special Tactics Squad at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, according to Stars and Stripes.
Wright called Bass “a phenomenal leader.”
“This is a historic moment for our Air Force and she is a phenomenal leader who’ll bring new ideas and her own style to the position,” Wright said. “She’ll do great things for our airmen and she’ll blaze her own trail as our CMSAF.”
Cox Media Group