Sheppard honors 4 Airmen at Chief Recognition Ceremony Published April 22, 2022 By John Ingle 82nd Training Wing SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – Leadership and guests honored four Sheppard AFB senior noncommissioned officers April 21, 2022, during the Chief Recognition Ceremony for achieving the highest enlisted rank in the Air Force. Three Airmen at Sheppard detachments were also among the 505 eligible senior master sergeants selected for promotion to chief master sergeant during the 21E9 promotion cycle. The honorees entered the event by passing under the silver sabers of a cordon team. Those present for the event included: • Senior Master Sgt. Brandy E. Cotton, 82nd Comptroller Squadron. Cotton was accompanied by accompanied by her children, Cheyenne, Kamryn and Jackson • Senior Master Sgt. Sarah R. Lee, 363rd Training Squadron. Lee was accompanied by her husband, Justin, and their daughters, Leena and Alexis. • Chief Master Sgt. Louis J. Phillips, 82nd Communications Squadron. Phillips was accompanied by his wife, Annika, and their children, Kilian and Charlotte. • Chief Master Sgt. Jason A. Ramon, Sheppard NCO Academy. Ramon was accompanied by his wife, Maria. The Military Pay Act of 1958, signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on May 20, 1958, created the enlisted pay grades of E-9 and E-8, and it was later in 1958 when the rank of chief master sergeant was established. On Dec. 1, 1959, the Air Force promoted 650 senior master sergeants to the highest enlisted rank. By law, no more than 1.25 percent of the enlisted structure can wear the rank of chief master sergeant at any given time. During the event, an Airman representing each enlisted rank in the Air Force participated in a candle lighting ceremony, signifying each step these senior leaders successfully achieved on their way to the top. Each of the honorees then lit their own candles to complete that portion of the ceremony. Airmen at Sheppard detachments selected for promotion include: Senior Master Sgt. Richard D. Plecenik, 373rd TRS Detachment 5, Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina; Senior Master Sgt. Justin M. Romo, 372nd TRS Detachment 10, Holloman AFB, New Mexico; and Senior Master Sgt. Justin M. Westmoreland, 372nd TRS Detachment 16, Royal Air Force Lakenheath, Suffolk, England. Chief Master Sgt. Kristina L. Rogers, 19th Air Force command chief master sergeant, was the guest speaker for the event. In addition to Sheppard leadership, Maj. Gen. Craig D. Wills attended the ceremony.