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Chief Master Sergeant Sarah Balian

Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Dean of the Faculty


Sarah Balian
Contact Information

Chief Master Sergeant (CMSgt) Sarah Balian is the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Dean of Faculty, USAF Academy, Colorado Springs, CO. As such, she supports the 750-member uniformed and civilian faculty, delivering over 2 million course hours and 31 majors across 23 departments to 4,400 Cadets annually.  Additionally, she leads the ongoing growth of the USAFA enlisted faculty cadre, leveraging Air Force enlisted talent and providing Academy cadets with a diverse educational experience.  CMSgt Balian also serves as a faculty instructor in the Academy’s Department of Foreign Languages and International Programs.

Born in England and raised in Virginia, CMSgt Balian joined the Air Force in 1999 and has held various leadership positions from the Squadron to the DAF Staff levels throughout her career.  Prior to her current assignment, she was the DoD Enlisted Fellow to the State Department, serving as West Africa Program Officer in the Bureau of Populations, Refugees and Migration.  As Air Force International Enlisted Engagements Manager, CMSgt Balian was the international strategist to the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, collaborating with Partner Nation militaries to strengthen global Enlisted Force Development.  As Air Advisor, and French interpreter, CMSgt Balian has supported U.S Building Partner Capacity efforts through numerous AFRICOM multinational exercises and global training engagements.  She has also deployed in direct support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, championing the Department of Defense’s COMREL mission through public and cultural diplomacy.


1996 Bachelor of Arts in French Studies, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

1996 Bachelor of Music Performance (oboe), Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

1999 Basic Military Training (Honor Graduate), Lackland AFB, San Antonio, TX

2006 Noncommissioned Officer Academy (Distinguished Graduate), Peterson AFB, CO

2006 Associates Degree, Fine Arts and Music, Community College of the Air Force

2013 Associates Degree, Intelligence Systems and Design, Community College of the Air Force

2015 Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy (Distinguished Graduate), Maxwell Gunter AFB, AL

2019 Master of Arts in International Relations (with Honors), American Military University

2021 CMSgt Leadership Course, Maxwell-Gunter AFB, AL

Professional Experience

May 1999-August 2012, USAF Academy Band, Peterson AFB, CO

August 2012-July 2017, 818th Mobility Support Advisory Squadron, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ

August 2017-April 2018, Superintendent, Public Affairs, Air Force Bands Division, SAF/PA, Pentagon

May 2018-August 2020, Manager, Air Force International Enlisted Engagements, SAF/IA, Pentagon

August 2020-July 2021, DoD Fellow, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C.

August 2021-Present, Chief, Dean of Faculty, United States Air Force Academy, CO

Honors & Awards

Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters

Air Force Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters

Air Force Achievement Medal

Meritorious Unit Award with one oak leaf cluster

Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with one oak leaf cluster

Air Force Good Conduct Medal with five oak leaf clusters

Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border

USAF NCO PME Graduate Ribbon with two oak leaf clusters

USAF Basic Military Training Honor Graduate Ribbon

Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon