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Senior Master Sergeant

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Senior Master Sergeant insignia
Senior Master
Sergeant insignia

Senior Master Sergeant is the eighth enlisted rank in the U.S. Air Force, just above Master Sergeant and below Chief Master Sergeant, and is a non-commissioned officer.

Promotion to Senior Master Sergeant is the most difficult enlisted promotion to attain in the Air Force. It is the first enlisted grade to which results of a central promotion board are the primary factor in selection for promotion. Usually, less than ten percent of eligible Master Sergeants are selected for promotion to Senior Master Sergeant in most years. Selectees typically have vast technical and leadership experience gained from a broad variety of assignments at both line and staff functions throughout their careers. Additionally, the successful candidate will typically have at a minimum completed an associate's or bachelor's degree in their Air Force specialty as well as the Senior Noncommissioned Officer Correspondence Course and have had their latest performance report indorsed by a senior rater, usually a Colonel or Brigadier General.

Senior Master Sergeants typically assume superintendent duties, overseeing enlisted members' efforts to accomplish a major segment of a unit's mission, in preparation for promotion to the rank of Chief Master Sergeant. They are expected to serve as mentors for noncommissioned and junior commissioned officers.

Senior Master Sergeants in the First Sergeant special duty serve as First Sergeants of larger units than those employing a Master Sergeant as a First Sergeant.

By Federal law, only two percent of the Air Force's total active duty enlisted strength may hold this rank.

Related articles

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Flag of the United States of America

U.S. military enlisted ranks

  E-1 E-2 E-3 E-4 E-5 E-6 E-7 E-8 E-9
Air Force: AB Amn A1C SRA SSgt TSgt MSgt SMSgt CMSgt -

CCM - CMSAF

Army: PV1 PV2 PFC SPC -

CPL

SGT SSG SFC MSG -

1SG

SGM -

CSM - SMA

Marine Corps: Pvt PFC LCpl Cpl Sgt SSgt GySgt MSgt -

1st Sgt

MGySgt -

SgtMaj - SMOMC

Navy: SR SA SN PO3 PO2 PO1 CPO SCPO MCPO -

CMCPO - MCPON

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