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Newest chiefs recognized during Ceremony

Fairchild leadership and Retired Lt. Col. Barry Bridger, a survivor of the “Hanoi Hilton” prison camp in Vietnam, pose for a photo with the newly selected Chief Master Sgts. Chad Madore and Shane Sweeney during the Chief Recognition Ceremony Mar. 25, 2017, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. The ceremony consisted of a medallion and a candle lighting ceremony where they lit nine candles that represented each enlisted grade in the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Janelle Patiño)

Fairchild leadership and Retired Lt. Col. Barry Bridger, a survivor of the “Hanoi Hilton” prison camp in Vietnam, pose for a photo with the newly selected Chief Master Sgts. Chad Madore and Shane Sweeney during the Chief Recognition Ceremony Mar. 25, 2017, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. The ceremony consisted of a medallion and a candle lighting ceremony where they lit nine candles that represented each enlisted grade in the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Janelle Patiño)

Retired Lt. Col. Barry Bridger, a survivor of the “Hanoi Hilton” prison camp in Vietnam, speaks with the audience about his experiences as a prisoner of war for six years during the Chief Recognition Ceremony Mar. 25, 2017, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. Bridger was shot down over Son Tay, North Vietnam, by a surface-to-air missile and was captured by the North Vietnamese. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Janelle Patiño)

Retired Lt. Col. Barry Bridger, a survivor of the “Hanoi Hilton” prison camp in Vietnam, speaks with the audience about his experiences as a prisoner of war for six years during the Chief Recognition Ceremony Mar. 25, 2017, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. Bridger was shot down over Son Tay, North Vietnam, by a surface-to-air missile and was captured by the North Vietnamese. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Janelle Patiño)

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- Two chief master sergeant selects, Chad Madore and Shane Sweeney, were recognized during Fairchild’s Chief Recognition Ceremony Mar. 25, at the Red Morgan Center.

The ceremony has been held annually since 1958 to provide recognition to those who have been selected for promotion to the highest enlisted grade in the Air Force. The tradition highlights the added responsibilities and the importance of being part of the top one percent of the enlisted armed forces.

Retired Lt. Col. Barry Bridger, a survivor of the “Hanoi Hilton” prison camp in Vietnam, shared his experiences as a prisoner of war, extended his congratulations to Fairchild’s newest selectees and thanked their families for their love and support.

“I join you in deep respect for the sacrifice of America’s veterans and our missing in action,” Bridger said. “And this night, a special shout out to all of America’s chief master sergeants and their families for their faithful service to liberty. God bless you and your families.”

The ceremony consisted of a medallion ceremony where each selectee was presented a medal by their respective commanders and a candle lighting ceremony where they lit nine candles that represented each enlisted grade in the Air Force.

“Tonight we honor Team Fairchild's newest chief master sergeants. Each promotion within the enlisted ranks is a significant event in one's Air Force career and achieving the rank of chief master sergeant is certainly a tremendous accomplishment,” said Chief Master Sgt. Shannon Rix, 92nd Air Refueling Wing command chief. “Although we celebrate their final promotion, tonight's ceremony serves as a reminder that it is certainly not their final destination. The wearing of the chief chevron comes with the awesome responsibility to lead, inspire, care for and represent our Airmen.”

Airmen being promoted to chief master sergeant go through a centralized promotion board where the panel examines and scores those who are eligible through performance, professional competence, leadership, job responsibility, breadth of experience, specific achievements and education before getting selected.

Fairchild had a total of four Airmen promoted to the rank of chief master sergeant in 2016.