La. Air National Guard promotes three enlisted leaders

BELLE CHASSE, La. – Louisiana National Guardsmen Brig. Gen. Charles Chappuis, assistant adjutant general – Air, and retired Chief Master Sgt. Thomas A. Pellegrin tack on chief master sergeant stripes during a promotion ceremony for 159th Medical Group superintendent Chief Master Sgt. Denise Stevenson, May 18, 2014, at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans, Belle Chasse, Louisiana. Stevenson has served in the Air Force both active duty and Guard for over 20 years. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Daniel Farrell, 159th Fighter Wing, Louisiana National Guard/RELEASED)

BELLE CHASSE, La. – Louisiana National Guardsmen Brig. Gen. Charles Chappuis, assistant adjutant general – Air, and retired Chief Master Sgt. Thomas A. Pellegrin tack on chief master sergeant stripes during a promotion ceremony for 159th Medical Group superintendent Chief Master Sgt. Denise Stevenson, May 18, 2014, at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans, Belle Chasse, Louisiana. Stevenson has served in the Air Force both active duty and Guard for over 20 years. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Daniel Farrell, 159th Fighter Wing, Louisiana National Guard/RELEASED)

By the 159th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office

NEW ORLEANS – The Louisiana National Guard’s 159th Fighter Wing promoted three Airmen to the rank of Chief Master Sergeant during ceremonies, May 17-18, at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans in Belle Chasse, Louisiana. Chief Master Sgts. Daryl Herty, vehicle maintenance superintendent; Stacey Vendetti, command post superintendent; and Denise Stevenson, medical group superintendent, now hold the highest rank an enlisted member can achieve in the United States Air Force.

“Don’t wait to take the opportunities the Guard offers. Take advantage of the education opportunities. That’s what allowed me to move forward and progress through the ranks,” said Herty. He joined the 159th in 1986 and has served in various positions and leadership roles in the Vehicle Maintenance Shop, such as the shop’s first sergeant, where he mentored Airmen and encouraged them to use their education benefits to advance their career.

Vendetti began her military career in the 159th, as an Air Force Operations Resource Management Systems Journeymen over 24 years ago and has expanded to include Airfield Management and Paralegal. “Something I would do, because it affected me personally, is we need to get our off duty education. I would suggest and highly recommend getting Professional Military Education accomplished sooner in our careers,” said Vendetti, now serving as the Command Post Superintendent.

Stevenson joined the Air Force in 1994 where she served on active duty for four years before transferring to the LANG. During her career she has been a Medical Specialist, Public Health Specialist and has served as the 159th Medical Group’s first sergeant. “I would like for the younger enlisted and even the officers to just remember why they joined the military. Know that their career progress is ultimately in their hands. Having a vision for my career is one of those things that has gotten me to where I am today,” said Stevenson, who has a passion for helping people set a vision for their career progression.

The rank of Chief Master Sergeant was created as part of the Military Pay Act of 1958 as a result of advancements made in technology during World War II. This law allowed the Air Force to promote 1% of its total enlisted force to this top rank.