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Candidates for Space Force's Next Top Enlisted Leader

Chief Master Sgt. Roger A. Towberman, the Space Force's first senior leader as well as its first ever enlisted service member, will be retiring this year.

That means the Space Force, the newest and smallest military branch, is going through a full vetting process for a new top enlisted leader and has already begun interviewing candidates to replace him.

The Space Force wanted to cast a wide net to find a successor, and Towberman revealed to in an interview the names of the five candidates for the role and the process the service has used to help Chief of Space Operations Gen. Bradley Saltzman make an informed choice.

"I'm just really proud of all of them, and I'm thankful for the team that we've built and the connection that we have, across our force," Towberman told "These five in particular, I've known for a long time. Some of them I've known way back in my Air Force days. ... Whoever is selected, I have no worries. I think the Space Force is in fantastic hands."

Towberman said the Space Force had only two requirements for those who wanted to be considered to become the service's top enlisted leader: A candidate must have been a master sergeant for at least three years and have at least 22 years of service.

The Space Force has been a separate service branch for only three years. It is still building up its noncommissioned officer corps and has filled many of its senior roles with transfers from other services. The five candidates all have prior service in the Air Force and transferred into the Space Force.


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