Chief Master Sgt. Stephanie A. Cates is the Command Chief Master Sergeant for the 377th Air Base Wing, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. As the Wing’s senior enlisted leader, she is the primary advisor to the Commander in all matters concerning the readiness, training, operations, professional development, health, morale, welfare, and quality of life for Airmen across the installation. As the host wing Command Chief, she also manages multi-level quarterly and annual recognition programs and advises the Commander on issues and activities affecting the Airmen within the 25 major mission partner organizations on Kirtland Air Force Base.
CMSgt Cates grew up as an Air Force dependent and enlisted in the Air Force in May 1996. She attended Imagery Analysis Apprentice Training at Goodfellow AFB, Texas and graduated in December of 1996. Her assignments include bases in California, Virginia, Texas, Ohio, Washington, D.C. and Germany. She has deployed to Italy, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Turkey. Prior to assuming her current position, she served as the Command Chief for the 52nd Fighter Wing at Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany.
2001 Airman Leadership School, Beale, Air Force Base, Calif.
2001 Associates degree, Communications Applications Technology, CCAF
2006 NCO Academy, Maxwell-Gunter AFB, Ala.
2009 Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education Course, National Defense University
2010 Senior Enlisted Intelligence Master Skills Course, Goodfellow AFB, Texas
2011 SNCO Academy, Maxwell-Gunter AFB, Ala.
2016 Command Chief Candidate Orientation Course, Randolph AFB, Texas
2017 Senior Enlisted Legal Orientation Course, Maxwell-Gunter AFB, Ala.
2018 Continuous Process Improvement for Executives, Crystal City, Va.
2020 Next Jump Leadership Academy, New York City, N.Y.
2020 Enterprise Leadership Seminar, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School
2021 Eurasia Seminar, Alan L. Freed Associates
1. May 1996 – Jun 1996, Student, Basic Military Training, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas
2. Jun 1996 – Dec 1996, Student, Imagery Analysis Course, Goodfellow AFB, Texas
3. Jan 1997 – Dec 2003, Imagery Mission Supervisor, 13th Intelligence Squadron, Beale, AFB, Calif.
4. Dec 2003 – Sept 2004, Senior Imagery Evaluator, 548th Intelligence Group, Beale AFB, Calif.
5. Sept 2004 – Aug 2007, NCOIC, Imagery Standardization and Evaluations, 480th Intelligence Wing, Langley AFB, Va.
6. Aug 2007 – Aug 2008, Night Shift Lead, Imagery Support Element, Combined Air and Space Operations Center, Ala.
7. Oct 2008 – Oct 2012, Instructor, Flight Chief, 315th Training Squadron, Goodfellow AFB, Texas
8. Oct 2012 – Apr 2014, Superintendent, Geospatial Intelligence Analysis Squadron, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
9. Apr 2014 – Sept 2014, Superintendent, Geospatial and Signatures Intelligence Group, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
10. Sept 2014 – Aug 2015, Superintendent, Air and Cyberspace Intelligence Group, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
11. Sept 2015 – Jun 2019, Superintendent, 11th Operations Group, Joint Base Anacosta-Bolling, D.C.
(Sept 2016 – Apr 2017, Superintendent, 447th Air Expeditionary Group, Incirlik Air Base, Turkey),
(Apr – Oct 2018, Superintendent, 455th Expeditionary Operations Group, Bagram AB, Afghanistan)
12. Jun 2019 – Jul 2021, Command Chief, 52nd Fighter Wing, Spandahlem AB, Germany
13. Jul 2021 – present, Command Chief, 377th Air Base Wing, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Joint Service Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Joint Meritorious Unit award
Meritorious Unit award with two oak leaf clusters
AF Outstanding Unit Award with Valor device with two silver oak leaf clusters
Humanitarian Service Medal
1998 Senior Airman Below-The-Zone
2001 John L. Levitow Award, Airman Leadership School, Beale Air Force Base, Calif.
2001 Tenant Group NCO of the Year, 9th Reconnaissance Wing, Beale AFB, Calif.
2006 Distinguished Graduate, NCO Academy, Maxwell-Gunter AFB, Ala.
2008 COMUSAFCENT Outstanding Performer, CAOC, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar
2009 SNCO of the Year, 315th Training Squadron, Goodfellow AFB, Texas
2011 Distinguished Graduate, Senior NCO Academy, Maxwell-Gunter AFB, Ala.
2011 SNCO of the Year, 17th Training Group, Goodfellow AFB, Texas
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Chief Master Sergeant: 1 December 2014
(Current as of September 2021)