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U.S. Air Force Enlisted Ranks

Before you enlist in the Air Force, it is helpful to understand the chain of command above you. It’s no secret that Air Force ranks can be a confusing topic to learn, let alone master.

Use the information below to help you learn the difference between an Airman, Technical Sergeant and Chief Master Sergeant.

For most new recruits, you’ll start out as an Airman Basic, but quickly get promoted to Airman or Airman First Class.

Explore all of the Air Force enlisted ranks from highest to lowest:


Pay Grade Insignia Title Abbreviation Total Active Salary
E-9 air force cmsaf insignia Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force CMSAF 2,481 Pay Chart
E-9 air force ccm insignia Command Chief Master Sergeant CCM Pay Chart
E-9 air force cmsgt insignia Chief Master Sergeant CMSgt Pay Chart
E-9 air force 1st sgt insignia 1st Sergeant 1st Sgt Pay Chart
E-8 air force 1stsgt insignia Senior Master Sergeant SMSgt 4,912 Pay Chart
E-8 air force 1stsgt insignia First Sergeant 1st Sgt Pay Chart
E-7 air force msgt insignia Master Sergeant MSgt 24,659 Pay Chart
E-7 air force 1stsgt insignia First Sergeant 1st Sgt Pay Chart
E-6 air force tsgt insignia Technical Sergeant TSgt 39,707 Pay Chart
E-5 air force ssgt insignia Staff Sergeant SSgt 59,181 Pay Chart
E-4 Air Force SrA insignia Senior Airman SrA 60,411 Pay Chart
E-3 air force a1c  insignia Airman First Class A1C 41,993 Pay Chart
E-2 air force amn insignia Airman AMN 6,184 Pay Chart
E-1 No Insignia Airman Basic AB 9,800 Pay Chart

Active Duty Personnel Stats via DMDC