David J. Campanale
|Born||October 7, 1952|
|Service/||United States Air Force|
|Years of service||1970–1997|
|Rank||Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force|
|Awards||Air Force Distinguished Service Medal|
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal (3)
Air Force Commendation Medal (3)
Air Force Achievement Medal (2)
Campanale completed technical training as an aircraft maintenance specialist at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. In February 1971, he was assigned as a B-52 Stratofortress crew chief in the 2nd Organization Maintenance Squadron, Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. While there, he completed three successive tours at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, in support of B-52 Operation Arc Light missions in Southeast Asia. His career included tours at bases in Indiana, Hawaii, New Hampshire, and Nebraska. He served as Senior Enlisted Advisor to the 93rd Bomb Wing, Castle Air Force Base, California; and Air Mobility Command, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois.
Campanale served as the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force from October 1994 to November 1996. His most notable contributions include a push for single dorm occupancy, which led to the current dorm single occupancy policy, and a reduction of DUI incidents at Castle Air Force Base in one year from over 190, to fewer than five. Campanale also fought a uniform change which removed name tapes and rank insignia from the battle dress uniform. The Air Force swapped for a short time to a single black label worn over the left breast pocket which contained text including the rank, name, and position of the individual. Disagreeing with this change, Campanale said,
To prove my point, I had the secretary of a 3-star General remove the stars [rank insignia] from the Generals' BDU collar, then affixed the black label over his nametape as would be worn by everyone else. I then challenged that if he were to walk with me around the base, nobody would salute or render courtesies, since they couldn't read it. He accepted my challenge, and after about an hour of walking, someone finally recognized the General and said, "Hey...aren't you General so and so?"
Within a few weeks, the black patch was being phased out, and the rank insignia/name tapes were on the way back in.
Campanale was accused of being a personal friend of a Bataan prisoner of war impostor, whom he was promoting for an NCO of the Year-type award. Despite being advised of serious discrepancies in the impostor's story and credentials, Campanale dismissed all allegations. After Campanale was replaced by Eric W. Benken the matter was re-assessed.
Campanale retired from active duty effective January 1, 1997. He now resides in southern Arizona and frequently speaks at Air Force gatherings.
|Master Maintenance Badge|
|Air Force Distinguished Service Medal|
|Legion of Merit|
|Meritorious Service Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters|
|Air Force Commendation Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters|
|Air Force Achievement Medal with bronze oak leaf cluster|
|Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor device and silver oak leaf cluster|
|Air Force Organizational Excellence Award|
|Air Force Good Conduct Medal with silver and three bronze oak leaf clusters|
|Campaign and service medals|
|National Defense Service Medal with service star|
|Vietnam Service Medal|
|Service, training, and marksmanship awards|
|Air Force Overseas Short Tour Service Ribbon|
|Air Force Overseas Long Tour Service Ribbon|
|Air Force Longevity Service Award with silver oak leaf cluster|
|NCO Professional Military Education Graduate Ribbon with two oak leaf clusters|
|Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon with service star|
|Air Force Training Ribbon|
|Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Award|
|Vietnam Campaign Medal|
This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Air Force document: "Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force David J. Campanale biography".