The US Air Force accounts for 1 of 7 branches of the United States Military. The USAF (United States Air Force) managed by the Department of Air Force, is responsible for the protection of US air-space and supplemental land or sea-based operations. The USAF stemmed from the US Army in the late 1947′s to become a singular, separate branch of the Uniformed Services of the United States. The National Security Act affirmed this action by creating the United States Department of Defense with 3 individual branches, Navy, Army and Air Force.
Careers among Air Force Ranks
Of course, just because you’re a member of the Air Force, this doesn’t mean you’ll be flying a plane all the time. In contrast, most Air Force ranks and personnel perform jobs within the military on the ground. Civil affairs, technological positions, hospitality needs, medical personnel and security forces comprise a short list of the many career options available in the US Air Force Ranks.
Hierarchal-Chain of Command: US Air Force Ranks
US Air Force Ranks can be easily identified by splitting the divisions and hierarchal-chain of command into 2 categories, enlisted personnel and commissioned officers. Separating Air Force Ranks into these two categories allows us to get into detail about specific points of reference.
Air Force Rank: Enlisted Personnel
Unlike the US Army, the US Air Force Ranks do not have a category for Warrant Officers. Instead, the category for enlisted personnel begins with Airman Basic and extends through Chief Master Sergeant. Along the same lines, commissioned officers begin with Second Lieutenant and proceed through to the General of the Air Force.
The US Air Force ranks authority, responsibility and importance of the individual holding the position in order of least to greatest; thus, Airman Basic is an entry level position for Air Force ranks. Enlisted personnel would follow the chain of promotion from Airman Basic to Airman, Airman First Class, Senior Airman, Staff Sergeant, Technical Sergeant, Master Sergeant, First Sergeant, Senior Master Sergeant, Chief Master Sergeant and finally Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force. As with most other divisions of the military the last among the US Air Force Ranks simply details an individual with respective authority in non-war times.
Air Force Rank: Commissioned Officers
Continuing with US Air Force ranks, we encounter the 2nd Lieutenant position as the starting point for commissioned officers, as promotion follows: 1st Lieutenant, Captain, Major, Lieutenant Colonel, Colonel, Brigadier General, Major General, Lieutenant General, General and General of the Air Force comprise the chain of command.
US Air Force Ranks and Insignias
US Air Force ranks are accompanied by different types of insignias as you move up in priority. For instance, an Airman Basic does not wear any insignia, when just entering their position. Upon promotion to Airman, the individual will bear the air force rank insignia of a single stripe or “wing” as the figure is bent solidly in the middle at the points of a star. As the individual moves through promotion and proceeds in air force rank, more stripes will be added to note their achievements and new position of authority, responsibility or importance. The Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force will wear an air force rank insignia with 8 “wings” and the symbol of a star in the middle of 3 separated stripes. Along the way, when an individual reaches the status of Master Sergeant the “wings” will reflect from the original position of the first 5 and any additions from then on will accompany this set. At the point of this achievement, individuals will also receive a pendent, which will need to be worn on the collar and hat in addition to the insignia on the shoulder.