US Air Force chooses Korean American JoAnne Bass as first woman to serve as top enlisted leader

Chief Master Sgt. JoAnne Bass, the current command chief for Second Air Force, has been selected to be the next chief master sergeant of the Air Force.

Bass will become the 19th chief master sergeant of the Air Force, the service said Friday. She will be the first woman to serve as the highest-ranking noncommissioned officer in any of the United States military services, though a woman previously served as the chief enlisted advisor for the National Guard Bureau.

“She is a proven leader who has performed with distinction at every step of her accomplished career.” “I have no doubt that Chief Bass will provide wise counsel as we pursue and implement initiatives to develop and empower airmen at all levels. said Gen. Charles “CQ” Brown, Air Force Chief of Staff.

“She’s not afraid to speak her mind,” said Chief Master Sargent Lee Hoover. “Even if that’s different than what others may think, she’s going to make sure the enlisted voice is heard. … When you do speak your mind in a room full of [top] leaders, you have to do it in a way that they’ll hear it. They’re going to hear and understand her perspective, and know it’s coming from the right place.”

This will be the first time in history that a branch of the US Military has had no white men in its top officer, enlisted and civilian leadership roles. Bass, whose mother is Korean, will also be the first chief master sergeant of the Air Force of Asian-American descent.

Bass has served as the command chief for the Second Air Force at Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi since July 2018, advising commander Maj. Gen. Andrea Tullos on how to best use and develop the enlisted force there. The Second Air Force oversees a variety of training operations, including basic military training for more than 36,000 trainees annually, initial skills training and advanced technical training, and has more than 13,000 officer, enlisted, civilian and contract personnel.

She was previously chief of Air Force enlisted developmental education at the Pentagon from September 2016 to July 2018. Prior to that, Bass was command chief master sergeant for the 17th Training Wing at Goodfellow Air Force Base in Texas from May 2015 to September 2016.

Read more via USA Today