Women's History Month - Chief Master Sgt

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Emily Copeland
  • 173rd Fighter Wing

March is designated as Women’s History Month? Kingsley Field has many amazing female Airmen who work hard and show up every day to answer their nation’s call. 

More than 21 out of 100 Airmen in the U.S. Air Force are women. This is a significant number today as just 74 years ago when the Air Force was born, there were no women allowed. A year later in 1948, the Air Force allowed women to transfer from the Women’s Army Corps to the Women’s Air Force. In the beginning, the limit of enlisted women was 4,000 and female officers was 300.   

In 1960, Chief Master Sgt. Grace Peterson became the first female chief master sergeant. She was not only the first female chief master sergeant; she was part of the original group of senior NCOs to be selected for the rank of E-9. At the time of promotion, Peterson was the first sergeant of a 400-person Women in the Air Force squadron at McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey.

Chief Master Sgt. Cindy Gauntz became the first female Command Chief Master Sgt. to serve at Kingsley Field in 2006. She served as the senior enlisted advisor to the wing commander for the 173rd Fighter Wing.  This marked a significant milestone for women in all career fields at Kingsley Field. Chief Gauntz’s promotion truly paved a way for so many women and opened doors for them to hold leadership positions that were formerly held only by men.