Bentivegna Succeeds Towberman, ‘Has Big Shoes to Fill’ as as Space Force’s Top Enlisted | Space Video


For the first time ever, the title of Chief Master Sergeant of the Space Force changed hands Sept. 15, as Roger A. Towberman retired and passed the mantle on to John F. Bentivegna in a ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md.

Towberman became the Space Force’s top enlisted member in April 2020, and played an instrumental role in forming the rudiments of a new military service under Chiefs of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond and Gen. B. Chance Saltzman. His contributions to USSF’s foundational cultural touchstones were many, from unique uniforms to fitness to its unique approach to personnel management.

“He shaped the character, values, and culture of the Space Force and guided Gen. Raymond as they built the Space Force from the time they were the only two members,” said Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall during the ceremony. “’Toby’ has now helped guide the second Chief of Space Operations, Gen. Saltzman and a new Secretary of the Air Force, as we work together to build on the foundation that he and Gen. Raymond started. His contributions have been literally unprecedented and without parallel. Chief Bentivegna, you have some big shoes to fill.”

With Towberman’s leadership and advice, the Space Force has:

Along the way, Towberman earned a reputation as a passionate, engaging leader, happy to interact with Guardians on internet forums like Reddit and known to pepper his speeches with self-deprecating jokes, touching personal reflections, and philosophical musings on compassionate leadership and choosing a growth mindset.

All were on full display in his retirement speech—he thanked a long list of mentors, colleagues, and family members, becoming particularly emotional when acknowledging his wife, Rachel Rush, and urging Guardians to push forward in developing the service.

“The world will never prepare you for the task of changing it,” Towberman said. “Change…

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