Air Force Senior Master SergeantE-8 SMSgt (Previous)
Senior Master Sergeant

Air Force Chief Master Sergeant

E-9 Noncommissioned Officer, U.S. Air Force
(Next) E-9 CCMAir Force Command Chief Master Sergeant
Command Chief Master Sergeant

Air Force Ranks » Chief Master Sergeant RankCMSgt PayCMSgt Rank History

Rank badge of a Chief Master Sergeant E-9 Chief Master Sergeant - U.S. Air Force Ranks

Air Force Chief Master Sergeant
Air Force E-9 Chief Master Sergeant Air Force Military Ranks
Class Noncommissioned Officer
Abbr. CMSgt
Title Chief Master Sergeant (last name)
Paygrade E-9 (DoD Paygrade)
OR-9 (NATO Code)
Basic Pay $5,789/mo

Senior Master Sergeant (SMSgt) is the fourth Non-Commissioned Officer rank in the United States Air Force. It is just above Master Sergeant and below Chief Master Sergeant. Promotion to Senior Master Sergeant is the hardest enlisted promotion to acquire, for less than ten percent of eligible Master Sergeants move up. To be promoted, an airman must have very broad technical skills gained from many assignments, and they typically have a bachelor's degree, or higher, in their specialty. SMSgts are expected to act as mentors and leaders for non-commissioned and junior commissioned officers. At present day, only two perdent of the Air Forces total enlisted force may hold the rank of Senior Master Sergeant.

The rank insignia for Senior Master Sergeant is the same as the Master Sergeant's, three silver, downward pointing chevrons outlined in blue with an encircled star at the point with two curved chevrons below the star, but with two upward pointing chevrons over the downward pointing ones, instead of just one.

Chief Master Sergeant is the 9th rank in the United States Air Force , ranking above Senior Master Sergeant and directly below Command Chief Master Sergeant. A chief master sergeant is a Noncommissioned Officer at DoD paygrade E-9, with a starting monthly pay of $5,789.

How do you become a Chief Master Sergeant?

A Chief Master Sergeant is most often promoted from Senior Master Sergeant (SMSgt), although promotion from lower paygrades may occur with sufficient display of leadership and experience.

Approximately one percent of the enlisted force will be chief master sergeants. It is very difficult to attain this rank. Promotion from senior master sergeant to chief master sergeant is also via a promotion board. Factors include: education obtained, experiences, technical skills, performance reports, and completion of the Senior Noncommissioned Officer Correspondence Course.

What is the proper way to address a Chief Master Sergeant?

The correct way to address a Chief Master Sergeant named Mr. Smith is "Chief Master Sergeant Smith", or written as CMSgt Smith. In formal situations, a Chief Master Sergeant should always be addressed by their full rank.

How much does a Chief Master Sergeant earn?

Basic pay for an entry-level Chief Master Sergeant with Over 10 years of experience is $5,789.10 per month.

A Chief Master Sergeant receives an automatic raise to their basic pay every one to two years. Basic pay is only a small percentage of a Chief Master Sergeant's final compensation package.

In addition to a monthly basic pay salary, a Air Force Chief Master Sergeant may be eligible for multiple types of allowances and bonus pay including hostile fire pay, food allowance, and more.

For full details on the Air Force's Chief Master Sergeant compensation and retirement plan, visit the 2024 Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Pay Chart. A full table of the Air Force's current paygrades are available at the Air Force Pay Chart.

Patch of a Chief Master Sergeant Equivalent Ranks to the Air Force's E-9 Chief Master Sergeant

To learn more about the Air Force's rank structure, see our complete list of Air Force ranks.

The Government civilian-employee equivalent of a Chief Master Sergeant is paid under the General Schedule payscale. For more details, see this Air Force rank to GS grade conversion table .

To see a list of military medals and decorations that can be earned by servicemembers in the Air Force and other branches of the military, see our list of military decorations and medals.