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What is an Air Force NCO?


An NCO, or Non-Commissioned Officer, is any Air Force member in the pay grade of E-5 through E-9. The Non-Commissioned Officer rank titles end with the word "Sergeant." This includes Staff Sergeant, Technical Sergeant, Master Sergeant, Senior Master Sergeant and Chief Master Sergeant. NCOs are mid-tier leaders, acting as immediate supervisors to lower-ranking personnel and liaisons between lower enlisted airmen and commissioned officers. As NCOs progress through the ranks, they take on more duties and responsibilities, beginning with first-line and section supervisor duties, and progressing to include section chief, flight chief, squadron superintendent and Manager responsibilities, and culminating with the duty title of "Chief" for those highest enlisted leaders at high-level Air Force commands. NCOs are held to the highest standards of conduct and face harsh penalties for misconduct. NCOs are expected to lead by example and set the standard for other airmen to follow.



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