Senior noncommissioned officers rise above odds

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Russell Kuck
  • 62nd Airlift Wing command chief master sergeant
This week, the list of senior master sergeant selectees was released. Accepting this stripe symbolizes more than another promotion in your career. 

You've fought an uphill battle and will soon be one step closer to becoming the highest enlisted grade in the Air Force. 

Let's examine what it takes to become a senior master sergeant. 

In addition to the two phases of the Weighted Airman Promotions System factors, -- the promotion fitness examination and specialty knowledge test -- master sergeants also had to compete against their peers in their Air Force specialties at a central evaluation board, which determines whether or not each individual is fully qualified to be promoted. 

Most enlisted Airmen complete their Air Force careers without obtaining the rank of senior master sergeant. 

Historically, by law the Air Force can only promote 3 percent to the top two enlisted grades. So out of every 100 Airmen, only two make the cut for senior master sergeant and one will make it to chief master sergeant. 

Continue to challenge yourself. If your goal was to make it to this point in your career, it's time to journey to a new goal. 

This promotion speaks volumes to those you work for as well as those who are junior to you. 

Remember, as you continue to climb the promotion ladder, reach back and bring up the next person to replace you.