MAFB’s Newest Chief: CMSgt Melissa Turner, 5th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

Written by: Erin Beene
Chief Master Sergeant Melissa Turner

The illustrious rank of Chief Master Sergeant takes many years of selfless service, dedication to the profession and patience. This year only 506 members were selected across the Air Force. One of those newly pinned on chief master sergeants from Minot AFB is CMSgt Melissa Casey Turner, 5th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.

When CMSgt Turner walked into the recruiter’s office in 2000, she was not intending to stay until retirement and was not chasing any specific rank. However, in January of 2024, she pinned on the rank of Chief Master Sergeant and joined the top 1% of the Air Force’s enlisted force after 24 years of service. She has spent a majority of her career in North Dakota with assignments at Grand Forks Air Force Base and now at Minot Air Force Base as the 69th Aircraft Maintenance Unit Superintendent. She was also stationed at Seymour Johnson in North Carolina prior to Minot.

Chief Turner’s military road started with her walking into a recruiter station to see what the possibilities were. She fell in love with the idea of travel and was stationed at her first base in Grand Forks, North Dakota. At that point, she focused on one enlistment at a time and took advantage of all the opportunities she could as a young Airman seeing the world. After ten years had passed, Turner admitted that she considered separating, but was convinced to stay by her father who was an Army veteran from the Vietnam conflict. She said her dad was always one of her biggest supporters.

When asked if she had a mentor or someone she looked up to in the service, Turner mentioned CMSgt Amy Archuleta, who was a year her senior and a fellow maintenance Airman who really encouraged and guided her throughout her AF career. The two worked together in Grand Forks and maintain a solid friendship still to this day. Turner mentioned that she wasn’t sure if she would have continued to push it out this far if it had not been for Archuleta.

Talking about her present situation as a newly selected Chief at Minot AFB, Tuner said that she really likes Minot. She describes it as “family vibe atmosphere, especially in maintenance.” She also mentioned that she hopes she can bring about positive change for the Airmen in her unit. “I bring my best everyday because the Airmen deserve it, nothing less!” When asked what she would change in the Air Force, Chief Turner, half-jokingly, mentioned that she would love to “cut down on all the meetings.”

Congratulations to Chief Master Sergeant Melissa Casey Turner! Thanks for all your hard work!

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