The U.S. Air Force became the first U.S. military branch to select a woman to serve as the highest-ranking noncommissioned officer.

Chief Master Sgt. JoAnne Bass will become the 19th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force. She will succeed Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth Wright, who is expected to retire on August 14. Wright has held the top NCO position since 2017.

Bass is currently the Command Chief Master Sergeant, Second Air Force at Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi. In her current role, she provides support to 13,000 enlisted, officers, civilians, contractors, and 36,000 basic military trainees per year. 

“I’m honored and humbled to be selected as the 19th chief master sergeant of the Air Force and follow in the footsteps of some of the best leaders our Air Force has ever known,” Bass said in a press release. 

“The history of the moment isn’t lost on me; I’m just ready to get after it. And I’m extremely grateful for and proud of my family and friends who helped me along the way.”

“Airmen are counting on leaders like me to make a positive impact in their lives,” Bass said in a video posted on social media. “I owe them my best.”

The incoming Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. Charles “CQ” Brown, said Bass was selected because of her skills, temperament, experience, and a leadership style similar to his own. 

Brown, was confirmed by the Senate earlier in June as the first African American to serve as the top uniformed officer for any of the military branches. Brown will become the branch’s 22nd Chief of Staff in August, succeeding Gen. David Goldfein