Melissa Tavilla Promoted to Highest Air Force Rank

Department of Physical Therapy Office Manager Melissa Tavilla was promoted to the rank of Chief Master Sergeant in the Tennessee Air National Guard on Dec. 4.

The promotion puts Tavilla, a 25-year veteran of the United States Air Force, in exclusive company. At any given time, just one percent of all Air Force personnel hold the Chief Master Sergeant status, the highest enlisted rank in the branch.

“The best part is seeing how happy my military associates are for me,” she said. “It is one thing to receive a promotion from one’s superiors, but it is another thing to have it heartily endorsed by one’s peers.”

Over her quarter century career in the military, she has served in active duty, the Air Force Reserve and the Air National Guard. Currently, she is the human resource advisor for the 134th air refueling wing at McGhee-Tyson Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Tennessee, assisting senior leadership on strategic initiatives and personnel development.

Tavilla joined Brenau as an employee in 2013, shortly after graduating from the Women’s College with a Bachelor of Arts in Conflict Resolution and Legal Studies. She is now pursuing a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership.

“I have to thank the mentors throughout my career that gave me good advice and believed in my leadership potential,” she said. “Never underestimate the power of your belief in someone. They will strive to live up to your expectations.”