Created by an act of Congress in 1958 and designated Chief Master Sergeant (CMSgt) based upon the popular consensus of various Air Force Major Commands, the E-9 grade in the Air Force features an insignia that’s also the basis for two special Senior Noncommissioned Officer positions: E-9 First Sergeant and Command Chief Master Sergeant. All three feature the Chief Master Sergeant’s design of three upward-pointing chevrons, five stripes at the bottom (two of which are “rockers”), and a star superimposed over three of the lower stripes. But the First Sergeant insignia has an added diamond, while the Command Master Sergeant’s features an upright star in the middle field.

The CMSgt metal rank insignia is worn almost exclusively on outerwear. On sweaters (Cardigans and the Pullover) it’s placed 5/8 from the shoulder/sleeve seam with the base of the rank facing the shoulder, and on coats (Topcoat and All-Weather Coat) it’s worn on the collars an inch from their bottom. This insignia is also authorized for wear on the surgical scrub shirt; it is placed ½-inch above the name tag.

Regardless of what garment it’s worn with, the CMSgt is a decidedly rare sight in Air Force ranks. By statute, the total number of active-duty CMSgts is capped at 1.25 percent of the total enlisted force, and for Fiscal Year 2018 there was just 1 CMSgt for every ten Master Sergeants. In fact, there are 32% more Colonels in the Air Force than there are CMSgts, which gives you a pretty good notion of just how difficult it is to be chosen to become a member of this cadre.
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As a certified manufacturer of uniforms and insignia, The Salute Uniforms considers it a privilege to provide the members of our nation’s military services with superior-quality apparel and accoutrements. We guarantee that every product we offer is made in the USA and meets or surpasses Mil-Spec standards. Browse our online catalog and discover how our tradition of excellence and commitment to innovation makes us your best source for military uniforms, insignias, medals, and accessories.


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Salute Industries Inc, proud maker of The Salute Uniforms.
105 Apache Drive, Archdale, NC, 27263. Tel: 1-844-937-2588