The Air Force is poised to get a new top enlisted Airman, as Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass prepares to pass the baton to Chief Master Sgt. David A. Flosi, selected as the next CMSAF this week. Here are seven key facts to know about the incoming CMSAF.
First CMSAF with Nuclear Background
Flosi will be the 20th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, but the first with a background in nuclear weapons. He started his Air Force career in 1996 as a nuclear weapons specialist at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.
Over time, he expanded his expertise, assuming leadership roles in conventional and nuclear munitions, missile operations, program management, and test and contingency operations. Still, his background may prove important as the Air Force embarks on an ambitious modernization of its nuclear enterprise and completes its Missile Community Cancer Study.
While Flosi started in nuclear weapons, his career and training reflect diverse experiences, including stints in munitions, maintenance, program management, and personnel rescue. He has served as the senior enlisted leader across multiple units, and his educational highlights include a M.S. degree in Logistics and Supply Chain Management from the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT).
Flosi has had deployments to Saudi Arabia, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He’s supported operations in Operations Southern Watch, Iraqi Freedom, Inherent Resolve, and Freedom’s Sentinel.
His contributions have earned him accolades including the Legion of Merit with an oak leaf cluster and the Bronze Star, as well as unit awards like the Air Force Global Strike Command’s Maintenance Effectiveness Award.
Last Stop: AFMC
Flosi’s most recent job has been as Command Chief for Air Force Materiel Command since October 2021. In that role, he was responsible for representing the needs of some 89,000 Airmen. Taking over during the COVID-19 pandemic, he was in place when the command revisited its use of telework to emphasize in-office work.
Views on Personal Well-Being
In his latest role as AFMC command chief, Flosi prioritized building resiliency across the force, recognizing the need for Airmen’s readiness in the current warfighting environment. For that, he underscored preventative mental, financial, and physical care, linking personal well-being to operational readiness.
“If our Airmen are worrying about the bill collector, they’re not going to be mentally ready to deploy a multimillion dollar weapon system,” Flosi stated in 2021. “We need to rally our first line supervisors and continue to help take care of our Airmen and each other.”
His Love for Leadership
Like many, Flosi’s journey in the Air Force extended far beyond his initial plans. He was originally eyeing a few years in the service to fund college through the G.I. Bill and get a civilian job in finance, he noted in a 2021 release. But as a nuclear maintainer, he found himself stationed worldwide in various leadership roles, and the experience made him realize the economic challenges of civilian life and how critical it is to lead his fellow Airmen. He no longer saw the Air Force as a job but started to embrace it as a career.
“I guess life didn’t quite work out as planned,” Flosi said. “It has worked out far better than I could have imagined.”
Not a Fan of Social Media So Far
Flosi doesn’t have any active public social media accounts, a contrast from his predecessor—Bass frequently used Facebook to offer updates to the force and livestream discussions with senior department leaders. Former Chief Master Sergeant of the Space Force Roger Towberman also frequently utilized Facebook and Reddit to connect with Guardians, hosting live discussions and addressing criticisms.
A study in 2020 showed more than 90 percent of the service members and military spouses were found to be active on at least one social media platform. As this trend is expected to continue growing, it remains to be seen whether Flosi will opt to utilize the platform in the future to engage with the community.