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Staff sergeant (SSgt) is E-5 in the U.S. Air Force. It ranks just above senior airman and below technical sergeant. It is the Air Force's first non-commissioned officer rank, as well as the first Air Force rank to which promotion is attained on a competitive basis. Sergeants, also known in Air Force jargon as "buck sergeant"', no longer exist, having been eliminated in the 1990s after sharing the same pay grade with that of the rank of senior airman (E-4). Staff sergeants are expected to be technically proficient and function as first-line supervisors within a 'work center'. After being selected for promotion, senior airmen must attend Airman Leadership School, which teaches them basic leadership skills and how to write performance reports to become staff sergeant. The term of address is "Staff Sergeant" or "Sergeant". High year of tenure was reduced from 20 to 15 years in 2013.
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Activated as a B-25 reconnaissance squadron in early 1942, it was redesignated a medium bomber unit in April. It trained with the Third Air Force in the southeastern United States. It was deployed initially to England in September 1942 and flew some missions under VIII Bomber Command over German-occupied France; attacking enemy troop formations, bridges and airfields. It was part of the Operation Torch invasion of North Africa in November 1942, being deployed to the new Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO). It was assigned to the Twelfth Air Force in French Morocco in November. The squadron engaged primarily in support and interdictory operations; bombing marshalling yards, rail lines, highways, bridges, viaducts, troop concentrations, gun emplacements, shipping, harbors and other objectives in North Africa.
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