Chief Master Sergeant John A. Renfroe, Jr.
Chief Master Sergeant of Security Police
USAF Security Police
1971 - 1973
The First Chief Master Sergeant of Security Police, Chief Renfroe was born in San Saba, Texas on July 10, 1922. After finishing primary and secondary schools, he entered Texas A&M University in September 1941. With the advent of World War II he was drafted into the Army in November 1942. Following basic training and routine initial assignments, he participated in the Normandy Invasion, Northern France, Ardennes-Alsace, and Rhineland campaigns. He was taken prisoner on December 20, 1944 during the Battle of the Bulge. On April 5, 1945, he was liberated by an element of the American 90th Division.
In October 1945, he was discharged and returned to Texas A&M but school did not appeal to him as much as military service. Chief Renfroe enlisted in the United States Air Force in October 1946 and was assigned to Lowry AFB, Colorado. In October 1948, he was selected as cadre to form the ceremonial squadron at Bolling Air Force Base, Washington DC where he remained for about one year. During this time he was on detached service with the Protocol Section in the Pentagon and performed liaison with over a dozen foreign embassies.
A series of tours at March AFB, Fairchild AFB, and Fort Carson, Colorado, followed rapidly, with duties as First Sergeant and Operations Sergeant for Security Police units. At Fort Carson, Chief Renfroe was assigned as a tactics instructor and later as First Sergeant of the Strategic Air Command Security School (Special). In January 1953, he was assigned to Royal Air Force Station Sturgate, England, where he stayed until November 1955. During this period he attended the First Noncommissioned Officers Academy and graduated fourth in a class of sixty. Following a normal tour at March AFB, he was again assigned to England in August 1959. Upon his return to the United States, he was assigned to Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota.
In December 1963, he was selected as Sergeant Major for the 821st Aerospace Division. In October 1965, he received orders for Vietnam and was assigned to duties with the Director of Security Police, Headquarters, Second Air Division/Seventh Air Force. During his assignment, he saw the buildup of ten bases with some five thousand Security Policeman. Upon completion of his tour, he was assigned to the Armed Forces Police Detachment, Washington, DC
In December 1969, Chief Renfroe was assigned to the staff of the Directorate of Security Police, Headquarters, United States Air Force.
While serving in Headquarters Command, Chief Renfroe was selected as the Outstanding Security Policeman of the Year and subsequently competed at Air Force level for this coveted award. He served as a member of the Director's Special Advisory Council.
Chief Renfroe holds the following awards and decorations: Bronze Star with Combat "V" Device, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Purple Heart with one cluster, Good Conduct Medal with silver clasp, American Campaign Medal, World War 2 Victory Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Academy Ribbon, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, and Combat Infantry Badge.
Chief Renfro and his wife now reside in Granbury, Texas.