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First Enlisted Frocking Ceremony held in AETC

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt Savannah Stephens
  • 33rd Fighter Wing

The 33rd Fighter Wing hosted Air Education and Training Command’s first ever enlisted frocking ceremony, at Eglin AFB, Fla. Aug. 1.  

The ceremony frocked Senior Master Sgt. Matthew Coltrin, 33rd Maintenance Squadron senior enlisted advisor and superintendent allowing him to wear the rank of chief master sergeant prior to his promotion date later this year.

Frocking is common in the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps enlisted ranks, but the Air Force didn’t allow it in their enlisted ranks until Nov. 2017.

Frocking requests are approved on a case-by-case basis and are intended for chief selects being assigned to joint-duty positions or international positions where they have significant interactions with senior enlisted from allied militaries or if the new chief is going to a position where he or she will be closely interacting with other chiefs.

“Frocking shows the importance the Air Force is placing on integrating with the joint force,” said Chief Master Sgt. Kenneth Bruce, 33rd Fighter Wing command chief. “Chiefs consistently work across service lines to ensure we are caring for joint warfighters.”

The chief select’s actual promotion to the grade of chief master sergeant and corresponding entitlements will not be effective until his promotion number is included in the promotion increment. Early pin-on permits the wear of the higher grade and benefit from the protocol of that grade.

“Nothing but good comes from this,” said U.S. Navy CDR Matthew Scott, 33rd Maintenance Squadron commander. “You’re taking a person who is already selected for promotion and allowing them to wear the rank and assume the responsibilities that come with it. It empowers them to act and behave in a way that they’re already going to be promoted too.”

In his current position, Coltrin manages and directs the integrated maintenance effort of over 220 Air Force and Navy personnel spanning 13 career fields across both services. Coltrin routinely interacts with U.S. Navy maintenance master chiefs, command master chiefs and force master chiefs, who are MAJCOM chief equivalents.

“The authority chief Coltrin has gained through frocking will assist him in dealing with his sister service counterparts,” said Bruce. “He’s no longer just filling a position, he has the authority that comes with the rank.”