First in the Force: Air Force’s First Senior Enlisted Airman Arrives at Vandenberg Space Force Base

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The Air Force’s first-ever Senior Enlisted Airman (SEA), Chief Master Sgt. Cherise Mosley, arrived at Space Launch Delta 30 Aug. 4. She is also the first SEA to join a Space Force Delta command team.


“Chief Mosley has performed with distinction at every step of her career and I'm excited to serve alongside her, as we develop and empower Airmen and Guardians at all levels,” said Space Force Col. Rob Long, Space Launch Delta 30 commander. “It was through a great partnership with Air Force Materiel Command that we were able to pull her from the Command Chief Candidate’s list.”


The SEA advises the SLD 30 commander on Air Force issues, including advocating for force development opportunities and ensuring functional and administrative support for Vandenberg’s Airmen. Chief Mosley will communicate through Air Force channels on matters impacting Total Force Airmen and families, while providing resident expertise on Air Force policies, processes and direction. 


Mosley will work alongside her counterpart, Space Force Chief Master Sgt. Heath Jennings, SLD 30 Senior Enlisted Leader (SEL) to ensure SLD 30 Airmen and Guardians have the support and resources needed to launch and test above the rest.


“Secretary Kendall's mantra of ‘one team, one fight’ is more than evident within Space Launch Delta 30, with approximately 3,900 Guardians and Airmen, all Hawks, working together to get after our mission,” said Long. “Our Guardians and Airmen will benefit from the leadership provided by two outstanding leaders, Chief Jennings and Chief Mosley. Their trusted counsel will be invaluable and their unique skills will help us achieve great things.”


In her position, Mosley will help the SLD 30 leadership team make informed decisions, explain decisions, and communicate the commander’s intent across the force. “I am honored that Colonel Long selected me to be the Air Force’s first-ever Senior Enlisted Airman,” said Mosley.


The chief considers herself an out-and-about leader. She hit the ground running and has already been the guest speaker at several base events.


“As chief master sergeants we serve all. We are a joint team here -- it’s truly something to be excited about. We have the incredible opportunity to set the stage for this new construct and to figure out what it’s going to look like in the future- and that’s legit,” Mosley explained.


Over the next few weeks, Chief Jennings and Chief Mosley will receive immersion briefings from SLD 30 units.


“I want to have rapport with as many Team Vandenberg members, and their families, as possible for them to feel comfortable talking to me and vice versa,” she said.


Although this is her first time supporting a space mission, Mosley visited the base several times in her previous role as the Air Force Global Strike Command Munitions Functional Manager at Barksdale Air Force Base, Ala.


“Some of the mission sets my units supported were on Vandenberg. As such, I developed a strategic understanding of what the mission here means. We hear a lot about the operational component - the ICBM test mission and military and commercial space launches, but we tend to forget there’s a support piece SLD 30 provides to the mission,” said Mosley.


Vandenberg is home to 38 tenant units, including Space Force Deltas from every Field Command, and mission partners such as the Combined Force Space Component Command. In addition, nearly 10,000 personnel transit the base daily, between service members and their families, civilians, retirees and other military and commercial customers.


“The quality-of-life services, the medical care, the security, infrastructure - SLD 30 members are working behind-the-scenes to make sure launches are successful and people are taken care of so they can execute a mission that is vital to our national security,” said Mosley. “What excites me is the mission, and the Total Force Airmen and Guardians, who make it happen every day.”


Mosley is also looking forward to meeting with community members and building partnerships. She recognizes there are locality challenges, such as quality of life, cost of living, healthcare and infrastructure that impact the Total Force team and their families. 


“As our mission here evolves and grows, the continued support from the local community will only enhance our ability to take care of our people and execute the mission. I’ll take every opportunity I can to advocate for our people,” she said.


Raised in Wasilla, Alaska, Mosley is married to her husband, and biggest supporter, Jerry. They have two daughters, 14 and 10. In her free time, the chief enjoys fitness, travel, and spending time with her family.


This year she celebrates her 21-year anniversary serving in the Air Force. “In between enlisting, basic training and tech school, I arrived at my first duty station and my very first day of work in the Air Force was Sept. 11, 2001. That tragic day is what made me know I was a part of something bigger than myself, that I belonged to a team, and that I mattered. I knew from that day forward, that I had a purpose and wanted to serve the rest of my life. It’s why I’m here today,” she said.