Kirtland ALS building renamed after eighth CMSAF, celebrates 30 year history

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Ireland Summers
  • 377th Air Base Wing Public Affairs


The Kirtland Air Force Base Airman Leadership School was renamed after the eighth Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, Sam E. Parish, during a dedication ceremony celebrating the institution's 30th anniversary Jan. 31, 2022.

The ALS building was renamed to honor Parish’s legacy and his impact on the Air Force.

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Charles Kuykendall, ALS commandant, spoke about the significance of the rededication.

“Chief Parish was originally one of the attendees of the Kirtland Noncommissioned Officer Academy on the other side of base, so he has ties to Kirtland,” said Kuykendall. “Additionally, he has been very involved in PME [Professional Military Education] throughout his career.”

Kuykendall said that not only did Parish have a direct connection to Kirtland, but he influenced the naming of the John Levitow Award, the highest level award presented at PME.

During the dedication ceremony, Wing leadership officiated the renaming and spoke about Parish’s contributions. 

“To say Chief Parish served with distinction would be a vast understatement,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Jason Vattioni, 377th Air Base Wing and installation commander. “He rose to the top enlisted rank and position because he showed the ability to handle responsibility, get the mission done, and take care of people. Although Chief Parish retired from active service in 1986, his example continues to inspire Airmen here at Kirtland and around the world.”

Since the institute was established in 1992, more than 3,000 Airmen have graduated from KAFB ALS. Now, they will graduate under the legacy of the former CMSAF, Sam E. Parish. 

“Airman Leadership School is a great program,” said Kuykendall. “It’s really devised to get Airmen to come here and leave as better problem solvers, better critical thinkers, better team leaders and better team members. That's what the Air Force needs.”