111th Mission Support Group Senior Enlisted Leader promotes to Chief

  • Published
  • By Jonathan Dahms

The 111th Attack Wing promoted its 111th Mission Support Group’s senior enlisted leader to chief master sergeant, the Air National Guard’s highest enlisted rank, in a ceremony held here on June 11, 2022 at the Wing headquarters.

Chief Master Sgt. Brian E. Zarilla, Senior Enlisted Leader for the 111th MSG, was promoted by Col. Christine E. Munch, the commander of the 111th MSG and presiding officer for the ceremony.

“I couldn’t be happier for Chief Zarilla and his family upon his promotion,” said Col. Christine E. Munch, Commander of the 111th MSG. “Reaching this level is just a testament to the exemplary leader he is--a hardworking professional who is committed to being technically and tactically proficient, and more importantly, dedicated to taking care of his people. I myself have grown as an officer and improved my leadership abilities based on feedback received from the chief.”

Zarilla brings more than 38-years of Air Force service with him as he reaches the apex of Air Force enlisted ranks, with four years active duty and 34 with the Pennsylvania Air National Guard.

“In my 34 years of being at this base, I’ve had the opportunity to witness many Chief promotion ceremonies and I remember standing in the back of the auditorium as a ‘buck sergeant’ wondering if and when I would ever get the opportunity to stand in front of the wing members and be promoted to chief master sergeant,” Zarilla said. “I finally got to see what all of those chiefs before me saw when they stood out front for promotion. The great men and women of the 111th. What an honor to serve with you all!”

With nearly four decades of service to his nation under his belt, Zarilla couldn’t help but reflect and be thankful for all the support he got along the way, as he stood in front of those gathered at his promotion.

“I’ll start by thanking my Dad, without whom I would never have had an Air Force career if it weren’t for the letters of support and encouragement that I received from him when I first joined the active duty Air Force,” Zarilla said. “I also would like to thank every single commander, chief, first sergeant and senior noncommissioned officer that I’ve ever worked for and with. Because if you didn’t learn something, good or bad, from every single one of them, you simply weren’t paying attention.”

Zarilla, who served as First Sergeant for the 111th Air Operations Group, 111th Security Forces Squadron and the 111th ATKW for 7 years before being selected as senior enlisted leader for the 111th MSG in September 2021, had some advice for younger Airmen.

“Take on extra duties, additional challenges and deployments, and don’t be afraid to change AFSC’s to make yourself marketable as a future leader to the wing, Air Force and to your civilian employer,” Zarilla said. “Complete your enlisted professional development, take the AFOQT ahead of time and be ready when the next leadership opportunity comes around. The secret to my success was to take the same approach with both my civilian and military careers, learn as much as you can about the organization, take on additional roles, take advantage of the tuition assistance offered and I never ran away from an opportunity to lead.”