Senior Master Sergeant Heather L. Kirschner performs Euphonium and serves as Superintendent for the United States Air Force Band of the West, Joint Base San Antonio - Lackland, Texas.
Originally from Allegany New York, Sergeant Kirschner graduated from Baldwin-Wallace University earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance in 1996 and attended Indiana University, pursuing a Master’s Degree in Music Performance. Sergeant Kirschner studied with artists Allen Kofsky, James DeSano, M. Dee Stewart, Daniel Perantoni, and Brian Bowman. A skilled musician, Sergeant Kirschner has conducted Air Force music clinics at the University of the Pacific, University of the Incarnate Word, Texas Bandmasters Association Convention, University of Texas San Antonio, and San Angelo State University.
Prior to her current assignment, Sergeant Kirschner began her Air Force career as a member of the USAF Band of the West, Joint Base San Antonio - Lackland, Texas. In 2008, Sergeant Kirschner deployed to Southwest Asia with the Central Command Band, performing in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kyrgyzstan. In 2010, Sergeant Kirschner was assigned to the U.S. Band of the Air Force Reserve, an active duty band located at Warner-Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. While there, she served as Director of Operations and Resource Advisor in addition to coordinating military events featuring artists Chris Daughtry, Jay Leno, Martin Lawrence, and Gabriel Iglesias. As a member of the USAF Band of the Golden West, Travis Air Force Base, California, she served as the Noncommissioned Officer in Charge Band Productions, Noncommissioned Officer in Charge of the Concert Band, and Director of Operations. After attending the First Sergeant Academy in 2016, Sergeant Kirschner served for over four years as First Sergeant for the 60th Force Support Squadron, the 60th Medical Support Squadron and 60th Medical Group Staff, Travis Air Force Base, California, the 51st Munitions Squadron, Osan Air Base, Korea, and the 502d Communications Squadron and 502d Installation Support Group Staff, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas. Returning to the United States Air Force Band career field in 2020, Sergeant Kirschner was assigned to the USAF Band of the Golden West, Travis Air Force Base, California, where she served as Resource Section Chief before assignment as Superintendent.
1996 Bachelor of Music, Euphonium Performance, Baldwin Wallace University, Berea, Ohio
1998 Performer’s Certificate, Indiana University, Bloomington
2002 Airman Leadership School, , Joint Base San Antonio – Lackland, Texas
2009 Noncommissioned Officer Academy, Joint Base San Antonio – Lackland, Texas
2013 Associate Degree, Fine Art and Instrumental Music, Community College of the Air Force, Maxwell-Gunter AFB, Ala.
2014 Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy, Maxwell-Gunter AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2014 Senior Joint Enlisted Professional Military Education Course, Maxwell-Gunter AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2016 First Sergeant Academy, Maxwell-Gunter AFB, Ala.
October 1998 – November 2010, Regional Band Craftsman, Joint Base San Antonio – Lackland, Texas
April 2008 – July 2008, Regional Band Craftsman, AFCENT Band, Qatar)
November 2010 – July 2013, Regional Band Craftsman, Warner Robins AFB, Ga.
July 2013 – April 2016, Regional Band Craftsman, Travis AFB, Calif.
April 2016 – December 2018, First Sergeant, Travis AFB, Calif.
January 2018 – January 2019, First Sergeant, Osan AB, Korea
February 2019 – July 2020, First Sergeant, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas
July 2020 – August 2020, Superintendent, Travis AFB, Calif.
August 2020 – Present, Superintendent, Joint Base San Antonio – Lackland, Texas
Major Awards and Decorations:
Meritorious Service Medal, four oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal, three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Achievement Medal, two oak leaf clusters
Armed Forces Service Medal
2003 USAF Band of the West, Noncommissioned Officer of the Year
2005 USAF Band of the West, Noncommissioned Officer of the Year
2007 USAF Band of the West, Noncommissioned Officer of the Year
2012 U.S. Band of the Air Force Reserve, Noncommissioned Officer of the Year
2019 502d Air Base Wing, First Sergeant of the Year
2020 502d Air Base Wing, Installation Support Group, Lance P. Sijan Leadership Award
Effective Dates of Promotion:
Airman Basic August 26, 1998
Airman First Class October 13, 1998
Senior Airman December 26, 2000
Staff Sergeant January 1, 2003
Technical Sergeant May 1, 2008
Master Sergeant December 1, 2013
Senior Master Sergeant April 1, 2021