Former 55th member named first Space Force senior enlisted advisor

  • Published
  • 55th Wing Public Affairs

A former member of the Fightin' Fifty-Fifth became the first Senior Enlisted Advisor of the U.S. Space Force on April 3, 2020.

Gen. Jay Raymond, USSF Chief of Space Operations, administered the Oath of Enlistment to Chief Master Sgt. Roger A. Towberman during a small ceremony in the office of the Secretary of the Air Force, Barbara Barrett, at the Pentagon.

Towberman served in a variety of positions within the 55th Wing from 1999 to 2013. Some of those included superintendent of the 55th Electronic Combat Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, from August 2011 to May 2013, superintendent of the 488th Intelligence Squadron at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, U.K., from July 2010 to August 2011 and operations superintendent of the 338th Combat Training Squadron here from August 2007 to October 2009.
Initial plans to formalize Towberman as the USSF’s first enlisted member were delayed because of the rapidly developing COVID-19 pandemic. However, the SecAF and CSO decided to move ahead with enlisting Towberman this week.
“On this monumental day, Chief Master Sergeant Towberman joins the Space Force as employee number two. But he is also number one in many ways.” said Barrett. “He is the first Space Force enlisted member and the first Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Space Force. He will represent and guide the enlisted corps while designing the future of the Nation's newest Service – the only force dedicated to protecting America's way of life that depends on space.”
Today’s date signifies a tradition of heritage extending back to April 3, 1967, when Paul Wesley Airey became the first Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force. A larger ceremony reflective of the significance of today’s notable event is tentatively planned for later this year.
“Chief Towberman is the right person at the right time, and that time is now. In a perfect world this event would have brought together family, friends, and military and civilian professionals to celebrate history and begin an exciting new chapter,” said Raymond. “However, the global pandemic has made that impossible, and now is the time to take care of our force and our families, and to unify our Space leadership team here in the Pentagon.”
The SEA position represents the highest enlisted level of leadership in the USSF. Towberman will serve as the personal advisor to the CSO and SecAF on all issues regarding the welfare, readiness, morale, proper utilization, and progress of USSF enlisted members and their families. He will also continue to serve as Command Senior Enlisted Leader for United States Space Command until another SEL is named.
“This is such an important journey we are beginning. We are focused on the future, and I am excited about what’s to come,” said Towberman. “More importantly, I’m focused on the crisis at hand … as we all are.”
“Our space mission continues no matter the challenge and I am excited about the limitless opportunity to build a force that is tailor-made for a future of war fighting." 
As of today, Towberman will wear the same operational camouflage pattern uniform configuration as the CSO, but with a new, yet interim, rank insignia.
The general shape of the interim rank insignia is consistent with Air Force CMSgt rank insignia as well as other SEAs. The delta, globe and orbit are consistent with the official Space Force seal, and the two stars in the upper portion are consistent with the SEA rank insignia of other services. Until a Space Force service uniform is designed, the stripes will be consistent with the current colors (white and blue) of the Air Force service uniform.
Towberman sees rank insignia and uniform design as a small yet important part of building the overall identity and culture of the nation’s sixth and newest military service. But his focus is clearly fixed on building the Space Force to meet the nation’s needs.
“We continue to plan our future and I believe it will be incredibly bright,” Towberman said. “We have the right people in place and we are dreaming big.”
The men and women of the USSF now have a SEA as they continue to safely conduct all space operations and planning efforts for the full stand up of the USSF.
“Chief Towberman's enlistment continues our critical journey to establish the U.S. Space Force,” added Raymond. “But more importantly, it strengthens our leadership team and sharpens our focus on caring for our service members in response to the current crisis."