Proud to be: CMSgt Chasity Hert

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Ethan Sherwood
  • 17th Training Wing Public Affairs

Chief Master Sgt. Chasity Hert enlisted into the Air Force in 1999 after seeing a recruiting commercial. It inspired her to pursue a career in law enforcement and join Security Forces.

Hert has always been committed to professionalism, passion, and servant leadership. These values drove her career to the highest enlisted rank in the Air Force.

Her 23-year journey was full of changes in the Department of Defense, including the era and repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Hert wasn’t allowed to talk about her relationship openly before 2011 for fear of being discharged.

While she did not directly receive a negative impact for being lesbian, not being able to be open about her sexuality put a lot of stress on her relationship.

“As a senior enlisted leader, the diversity and inclusion movement is a breath of fresh air,” said Hert. “Sometimes we tend to see things in black and white, focus on the mission, and forget the people aspect.”

Hert understood what it was to be different and leveraged her experience as a leader.

“It makes us better leaders when we understand the people aspect of things; not everyone has the same perspective,” said Hert. “I let everyone know they have a voice.”

Hert never actively thinks about her sexuality since it is her reality. Still, she was reminded of how much her environment had changed while speaking at a recent Security Forces graduation ceremony.

She spoke about her career, her wife, and their journey to the new graduates without a second thought.

“You’re not going to be judged for who you are,” said Hert. “In the early 2000s, I couldn’t bring whoever I was dating around because it was going to be a big deal. We’ve come a long way since then; now it’s not anything to even think about.”

Diversity and inclusion go a long way to making a healthier total force. Having conversations to understand those around us better creates a stronger bond and, ultimately a stronger Air Force.

“At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who you are,” said Hert. “We all put on the uniform; we all serve side-by-side.”