Chief Master Sergeant Christopher M. Gradel

Chief Master Sergeant Christopher Gradel serves as Command Chief of the 72nd Air Base Wing, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma. He leads the wing’s enlisted force and serves as the principal advisor to the 72nd Air Base Wing Commander on matters concerning the effective utilization, training, development, and readiness affecting the wing’s 3,000 Airmen. Gradel provides direct operational support for the Headquarters Air Force Sustainment Center, Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, 552nd Air Control Wing, Navy Strategic Communications Wing One, 507th Air Refueling Wing, 448th Supply Chain Management Wing and 45 other mission partners across eight major commands. The wing provides support for more than $5.4 billion in resources while providing care and services for more than 27,000 military and civilian personnel, their dependents, and 36,500 retirees.

Prior to assuming his current position, Gradel served as the Air Combat Command, Command First Sergeant and 8F000 functional manager. Gradel has leadership experience in joint and total force environments as well as Air Force assignments throughout the communications and logistics career fields. Additionally, Gradel served as a First Sergeant for three years. Prior assignments include bases located in Arizona, Texas, South Carolina, Hawaii, and Florida. The chief has also been assigned overseas in South Korea, and deployed multiple times in support of Operations SOUTHERN WATCH, IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM.


2003 Airman Leadership School, Randolph AFB, Texas
2008 Associate of Applied Science Logistics, Community College of the Air Force
2008 Associate of Applied Science Electronic Systems Tech, Community College of the Air Force
2008 U.S. Air Force Noncommissioned Officer Academy, Hickam AFB, Hawaii
2008 Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education Correspondence Course I, National Defense University
2009 Bachelor of Science Degree in Information Technology Management, TUI University (Summa Cum Laude)
2010 U.S. Air Force First Sergeant Academy, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2011 U.S. Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy, Gunter Annex, Ala.
2011 Professional Manager Certification in Leadership, Community College of the Air Force
2011 Associate of Applied Science Human Resource Management, Community College of the Air Force
2015 Asia-Pacific Orientation Course, Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, Fort DeRussy, Hawaii
2016 Master of Business Administration w/Strategic Leadership Concentration, Trident University (Summa Cum Laude)
2016 Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education Correspondence Course II, National Defense University
2020 Senior Enlisted Legal Orientation Course, Judge Advocate General’s School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2021 Enterprise Leadership Seminar, Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina, N.C.


  1. October 1998 – November 1998, Trainee, Basic Military Training, Lackland AFB, Texas
  2. November 1998 – June 1999, Student, Supply Technician Course, Lackland AFB, Texas
  3. June 1999 – February 2002, Express Customer Service Technician, 355th Supply Squadron, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., (September 2000 – December 2000, Supply Technician, 363rd Expeditionary Supply Squadron, Prince Sultan AB, Saudi Arabia)
  4. February 2002 – July 2002, Student, Communications/Computer System Control, Keesler AFB, Miss.
  5. July 2002 – March 2004, Emergency Response Team Technician, 12th Communications Squadron, Randolph AFB, Texas, (February 2003 –May 2003, Third Country National Escort, 485th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron, King Faisal AB, Saudi Arabia)
  6. March 2004 – August 2006, Wide Area Network Supervisor, 609th Air Communications Squadron, Shaw AFB, S.C., (January 2005 – May 2005, Systems Controller, Combined Air Operations Center, Al Udeid AB, Qatar)
  7. August 2006 – August 2007, Noncommissioned Officer in Charge Tech Control Facility, 8th Communications Squadron, Kunsan AB, Republic of Korea
  8. August 2007 – October 2010, Infrastructure Section Chief, 747th Communications Squadron, Hickam AFB, Hawaii (May 2009 – November 2009, Joint Network Control Center Senior Watch Officer, Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command, Al Udeid AB, Qatar)
  9. October 2010 – October 2013, First Sergeant, 323rd Training Squadron, 737th Training Support Squadron, 344th Training Squadron, 37th Training Support Squadron, Lackland AFB, Texas
  10. October 2013 – April 2015, Operations Superintendent, 502d Communications Squadron, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas
  11. April 2015 – July 2018, Senior Enlisted Leader, Defense Information Systems Agency Pacific, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii
  12. July 2018 – May 2019, Chief Enlisted Manager Communications and Cyber Directorate, A6 Cyber and Communications Directorate, 1st Air Force (Air Forces Northern), Tyndall AFB, Fla.
  13. May 2019 – May 2020, Superintendent, 325th Mission Support Group, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
  14. May 2020 – July 2022, Command Chief Master Sergeant, 1st Fighter Wing, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va.
  15. July 2022 – July 2024, Command First Sergeant, Air Combat Command, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va.
  16. July 2024 – Present, Command Chief Master Sergeant, 72 Air Base Wing, Tinker AFB, Okla.


Legion of Merit with one oak leaf cluster
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with three bronze oak leaf clusters
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters
Army Commendation Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal with three bronze oak leaf clusters
Meritorious Unit Award
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor Device and three bronze oak leaf clusters
Korean Defense Service Medal


2006 8th Communications Squadron NCO of the Year
2008 15th Communications Squadron NCO of the Year
2009 Pacific Air Force’s Air Force Sergeants Association NCO of the Year
2009 15th Airlift Wing SNCO of the Year
2009 Team Hickam SNCO of the Year
2010 747th Communications Squadron Lance P. Sijan Award Recipient
2011 323rd Training Squadron Lance P. Sijan Award Recipient
2011 2d Air Force First Sergeant of the Year
2011 Joint Base San Antonio First Sergeant of the Year
2011 37th Training Wing Air Force Association Joe Kellogg First Sergeant of the Year
2013 Joint Base-Lackland Air Force Sergeants Association Member of the Year
2013 Division 4 U.S. South East Region Air Force Sergeants Association Member of the Year
2014 502d Air Base Wing Air Force Outstanding Cyberspace Systems SNCO of the Year


Chief Master Sergeant Dec. 1, 2015

(Current as of July 2024)