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ACC Command Chief David Wade retires

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jay Molden
  • Air Combat Command

After thirty years serving in the United States Air Force, Command Chief of Air Combat Command, David Wade, had his retirement ceremony on June 24, 2022, Chief Wade will retire Nov. 1, 2022.

Gen. Mark Kelly, commander of ACC, officiated the ceremony and presented Chief Wade with the Legion of Merit, Third Oak Leaf Cluster, along with retirement certificates and letters.


Chief Wade’s spouse, Stephanie Wade, received the spouse’s Chief of Staff of the Air Force letter of appreciation, COMACC’s letter of appreciation, and the spouse’s Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force letter of appreciation, presented to her by CMSAF JoAnne S. Bass.

Prior to becoming a command chief in 2011, Chief Wade made impactful strides to make it to where he is today. Throughout his career, Chief has earned numerous awards and recognitions including at the group, wing and major command level, as well as the Secretary of the Air Force Leadership award, Lance P. Sijan U.S. Air Force Leadership award and John L. Levitow award twice.

The command chief position demands a high level of responsibility to advise the commander and staff along with influencing the health, welfare, morale and the effective utilization of assigned personnel. As an enlisted maintainer by trade, Wade said he brought a different perspective to ACC’s leadership.


“Chief Wade always provided unvarnished advice and unambiguous recommendations,” Gen. Kelly said. “He wasn’t afraid to have uncomfortable discussions or make unpopular decisions, if it was obvious that it was the path to take for the greater good.”

Chief Wade was the command chief of a major command of over 157 thousand Airmen. Airmen who are charged to provide combat air, space, cyber power, and the combat support that assures mission success.

“The greatest challenge for a command chief is being influential, having the right information at the right time, with the right crowd,” Chief Wade said.

There are few Airmen who are tasked to lead those above and below them at the same time, however from the day a command chief has their induction ceremony, that is their primary duty.

“During Chief Wade’s tenure as ACC’s command chief, ACC became more lethal, more inclusive, and more resilient despite COVID-19 challenges,” Gen. Kelly said. “He was a chief who genuinely believed that he worked for the Airmen.”