First Woman to Serve as 174th Command Chief

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Green
  • 174th Attack Wing

Command Chief Master Sgt. Sonja Williams became the first woman to serve as senior enlisted leader for the 174th Attack Wing on February 4, during a change of authority ceremony at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Syracuse.

Williams, who lives in Carthage, replaced Command Chief Master Sgt. Michael Will who retired after serving as wing command chief since 2017.
“I want you all to know that I understand the importance of this position and that I am here for you, Williams said.

“I am here to empower you, listen to you, to continue to uphold the outstanding reputation that you all have cultivated as members of the 174th Attack Wing, she said.

Williams previously served as the senior enlisted leader for the 174th Mission Support Group. She joined the New York Air National Guard in 1997 as a personnel specialist.

Following her completion of technical school, Williams returned to the 174th Attack Wing, assigned to the commander support staff in the 174th Logistics Readiness Squadron.

After cross training in the education & training career field, Williams assumed the role of unit education & training manager for the 174th Civil Engineer Squadron.
After deploying in 2011 to Kyrgyzstan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Williams was selected in 2012 to serve as the Human Resources Advisor for the wing, a post she held until 2018.

In addition to serving as the senior enlisted leader for the Mission Support Group, Williams also served as the senior enlisted leader for the 174th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.

For the past 20 years, Williams has also worked as a high school Spanish teacher. For two years she served as president of her local branch of the American Association for University Women.

Williams is the recipient of multiple awards and decorations, including the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air and Space Commendation Medal, the Air and Space Achievement Medal, the Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal.