Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Ronald R. Fogleman has named
Chief Master Sgt. Eric W. Benken to serve as the service's 12th
Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force.
Benken will replace CMSAF David J. Campanale, who will
retire November 4 after 26 years of service to the Air Force and
"I want to personally thank Chief Campanale for his tireless
efforts as an advocate for our enlisted force," Fogleman said.
"I'm sure that all of you will join me in bidding him and his
wife, Barbara, a fond farewell, and wish them great success in
Fogleman said selecting a new CMSAF was one of the most
difficult decisions he has made in some time, since he is
convinced that all of the candidates would have been excellent
leaders for our enlisted force.
"Chief Benken is going to join the Air Force senior
leadership at what I consider to be an exciting time for our Air
Force," Fogleman said. "We are celebrating our 50th Anniversary
and we're in the process of defining the Air Force of the
Benken, who was born in Cincinnati, entered the Air Force in
March 1970. His background is in information management and he
has served in operational, maintenance and support units from
squadron to major command level.
He has served in the Republics of Taiwan, Korea and Vietnam,
and in a joint service assignment at Supreme Headquarters Allied
Powers Europe. Prior to his current appointment with U.S. Air
Forces in Europe -- which began in October 1994 -- Benken was the
senior enlisted advisor to the commander of Twelfth Air Force at
Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.
Benken has two sons, Brian and Kyle. He and his wife, the
former Johnne Ceravolo, have a daughter, Erica.