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All the stripes

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U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Fabian Hollis, Equipment Maintenance Squadron maintenance superintendent, embraces his wife, Senior Master Sgt. Luz Hollis, 18th Security Forces Squadron first sergeant, after discovering he had earned the rank of chief master sergeant Dec. 6, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. A total of 11 members at Kadena AB were selected for the rank of chief master sergeant. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Quay Drawdy)

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U.S. Air Force chief master sergeants stand with selectees for the rank of chief master sergeant Dec. 6, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The rank of chief master sergeant is the highest enlisted rank that can be held in the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Quay Drawdy)

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U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Demetrius Jones, 18th Communications Squadron operations flight superintendent (center), waits to have the rank of chief master sergeant ceremoniously “tacked on” Dec. 6, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Chief master sergeants represent the highest enlisted tier in the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Quay Drawdy)

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U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Kristi Steck, 18th Wing command post superintendent (center), has the rank of chief master sergeant ceremoniously “tacked on” Dec. 6, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Tacking on rank is a U.S. Air Force tradition meant to ensure the rank stays in place. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Quay Drawdy)

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan --

When two buses filled with chief master sergeants and the vice commander visit a unit, it is either a very good or a very bad thing. Fortunately for the senior master sergeants they met, they brought positive news.

A total of 11 Kadena senior master sergeants were selected for promotion to chief master sergeant. All available chiefs and Col. Richard Tanner, 18th Wing vice commander, visited each of the selectees at their units to congratulate them Dec. 6, 2017.

“Touring the base and meeting all of the new chiefs brought back memories,” said Chief Master Sgt. Greg Butcher, 18th Force Support Squadron military personnel flight superintendent. “I remember that excitement and it was truly humbling to have been a part of it.”

The excitement of joining the top of the U.S. Air Force enlisted corps wasn’t lost on the selectees. Families, coworkers, leaders and more joined together to congratulate the new chiefs on their promotion, which led to tears and heartfelt thanks.

“Making chief feels unbelievable,” said Senior Master Sgt. Demetrius Jones, 18th Communications Squadron operations flight superintendent. “It’s very humbling and as much as you want to prepare yourself, you can’t. I can’t forget the people that have helped get me where I am throughout the years. For now, though, I’m excited to continue doing my job and doing the best I can wherever the Air Force ends up needing me.”