Two New Chief Master Sergeants at the Tennessee Air National Guard

MEMPHIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Memphis, Tenn. -- The 164th Airlift Wing conducted a chief induction ceremony Feb. 4, 2017 Chief Master Sgt. James Silk, 164th chief enlisted manager, and Chief Master Sgt. James Hicks, 164th Medical Group superintendent, were inducted into the chief council in front their peers and family members.
"The Chief Induction is a ceremony to induct all new chiefs in front of their peers and their squadron, to let them know that they have a new chief," said Chief Master Sgt. Michael Bolton, the 164th mission support group superintendent.
"It's a way to show them getting their promotion in front of their peers they work with."
Only about one percent of all Air Force enlisted members are promoted to the rank of Chief Master Sgt. For an enlisted member, earning that rank is a great accomplishment.
"What's special is that you've finally reached the pinnacle of your enlisted career," said Silk."You can't go any higher. You bring your family out and your peers and you are finally recognized for 20 plus years of hard work."
The Chief is responsible for the development of the Air Force enlisted force. By the time most enlisted member become eligible for Chief, they could retire.
"I tell people all the time, the things that I do is not going to benefit me anymore," said Bolton."The things that we do as Chiefs, are to better the Airmen behind us. Most Chiefs can retire, but they stay in to help the other Airmen, to make it better for them."
In order for an enlisted member to make it to the rank of Chief Master Sgt., they must complete a number of different professional development education course throughout their careers. Education, is one of the most important requirements for earning this rank.
"Make sure you are taking care of your education," said Silk.
"At some point they will probably require a degree to be a chief. Airmen need to keep working on their PME, working their way through their career."