Chief Master Sergeant JAMES L. CROMWELL

Chief Master Sergeant James L. Cromwell is the Senior Enlisted Leader, 62d Operations Group, 62d Airlift Wing, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. He serves as the advisor to the Group Commander on the combat readiness of three C-17A Globemaster III airlift squadrons and an operations support squadron to conduct all aspects of operations, including mission planning, allocation, execution, command and control, training, intelligence, aircrew flight equipment, weather, and airfield operations. The group operates 40 assigned C-17A aircraft, providing safe and effective airlift, airdrop, and aeromedical evacuation capabilities for global combat and humanitarian contingencies. The group also holds the Prime Nuclear Airlift Forces, the only squadron in the Department of Defense tasked to airlift nuclear and nuclear-related cargo. In addition, the 62d OG serves as the primary active-duty unit in support of Operation DEEP FREEZE, partnering with Reserve, Guard, and civilian agencies to provide airlift support for the National Science Foundation’s U.S. Antarctic Program. 

Chief Cromwell enlisted in the Air Force in April 2004. After graduating initial Computer Display and Maintenance Technician Training in October 2004, he served in a variety of assignments aboard the E-3 AWACS accumulating over 2,700 flight hours. In June 2012, Chief Cromwell cross-trained into the loadmaster career field and has accumulated 3,500 flying hours aboard the C17A. During time in both airframes, he has deployed in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM, INHERENT RESOLVE, RESOLUTE SUPPORT, South America Counter Drug Operations, and contingency operations in the Horn of Africa. He has also served in multiple units as a First Sergeant including an 8-month deployment supporting CENTCOM’s forward headquarters. His assignments include bases in Oklahoma, California, and Washington.


2009 Airman Leadership School, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. 

2010 Associate Degree, Information Systems Management, Community College of the Air Force, Maxwell AFB, Ala. 

2013 Associate Degree, Instructor of Technology/Military Science, Community College of the Air Force, Maxwell AFB, Ala.  

2013 Associate of Science, Aviation Operations, Community College of the Air Force, Maxwell AFB, Ala.

2014 Senior Enlisted Joint PME by correspondence 

2015 Noncommissioned Officer Academy, Keesler AFB, Miss. 

2017 Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy by correspondence 

2018 Bachelor of Science, Organizational Leadership, Chapman University, Orange, Calif. 

2018 Senior Enlisted Joint PME II by correspondence

2018 Professional Managers Certification, Community College of the Air Force, Maxwell-Gunter AFB, Ala. 

2018 United States Marine Corps Staff Noncommissioned Officer Academy, Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base, N.C. 

2018 United States Air Force First Sergeant Academy, Maxwell-Gunter Annex, Ala.

2019 Associate Degree, Human Resource Management, Community College of the Air Force, Maxwell AFB, Ala.

2023 Chief Leadership Course, Maxwell-Gunter Annex, Ala.


  1. April 2004 – June 2004, Student, Basic Military Training, Lackland AFB, Texas 
  2. June 2004 – October 2004, Student, Computer Display and Maintenance Training, Keesler AFB, Miss.
  3. October 2004 – October 2005, Student Computer Display and Maintenance Technician Initial    Qualification Training, 552nd Training Squadron (TS), Tinker AFB, Okla. 
  4. October 2005 – February 2008, Instructor Computer Display and Maintenance Technician, 965th Airborne Air Control Squadron (AACS), Tinker AFB, Okla. 
  5. March 2008 – June 2012, Evaluator Computer Display and Maintenance Technician, 966th AACS, Tinker AFB, Okla. 
  6. June 2012 – July 2012, Student, Basic Loadmaster Course, 344th TS, Lackland AFB, Texas 
  7. July 2012 – January 2013, NCOIC, Student Admin Flight, 552nd TS, Tinker AFB, Okla. 
  8. January 2013 – May 2013, Student, Loadmaster Initial Qualification Training, 97th TS, Altus AFB, Okla.    
  9. May 2013 – August 2016, NCOIC Loadmaster Flight, 21st Airlift Squadron, Travis AFB, Calif.                
  10. August 2016 – September 2018, Section Chief, Standardizations and Evaluations Flight, 21st Airlift Squadron, Travis AFB, Calif.   
  11. September 2018 – July 2019, First Sergeant, 60th Surgical Operations Squadron, Travis AFB, Calif. 
  12. July 2019 – October 2021, First Sergeant, 660th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Travis AFB, Calif. (September 2020 – April 2021, Senior Enlisted Leader, USCENTCOM Forward HQ, Al Udeid AB, Qatar)
  13. October 2021 – December 2022, Senior Enlisted Manager, 7th Airlift Squadron, Joint Base Lewis-McCord, Wash.
  14. December 2022 – November 2023, Senior Enlisted Leader, 8th Airlift Squadron, Joint Base Lewis-McCord, Wash.
  15. November 2023 – Present, Senior Enlisted Leader, 62d Operations Group, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.


Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters

Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters  

Aerial Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster  

Joint Service Commendation Medal

Air and Space Commendation Medal   

Air and Space Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters  

Humanitarian Service Medal with service star 


2005 Honor Guardsmen of the Year, 552nd Air Control Wing 

2006 Airmen of the Year, 965th Airborne Air Control Squadron 

2009 Computer Display and Maintenance Technician of the Year, 552nd Operations Group 

2013 Distinguished Graduate, Loadmaster Initial Qualification, 97th Training Squadron 

2014 Loadmaster of the Year, 21st Airlift Squadron 

2015 Noncommissioned Officer of the Year, 21st Airlift Squadron 

2018 Distinguished Graduate, USMC Staff NCO Academy  

2020 18th Air Force First Sergeant of the Year


Chief Master Sergeant August 1, 2023 

(Current as of November 2023)