by Airman 1st Class Brandon Valle
90th Missile Wing Public Affairs
11/17/2014 - F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. -- Chief
Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody and his wife, retired Chief
Master Sgt. Athena Cody, visited the 90th Missile Wing to spend time
with Airmen and their spouses. The visit not only focused on the
importance of the nuclear deterrence mission, but also on other key
topics such as the Sexual Assault and Prevention Response Program.
"I think everyone knows, or I hope they know, that the nuclear mission
is our number one priority in the United States Air Force," CMSAF Cody
said. "It is our strategic deterrence against any would be adversaries
for our nation and our partners."
The significance of the nuclear mission was stressed throughout the
visit. CMSAF Cody noted that although a main priority, it is rarely
honored or glorified.
"This is an important mission, but it is a mission where you are the
silent hero," he said. "The nuclear surety of our country, this
strategic deterrence, is absolutely essential to our national defense
and national security. We have great men and women here at F.E. Warren
and across our Air Force who secure this for our country and our nation.
We could not be more appreciative and thankful for what they do."
CMSAF and CMSgt (ret) Cody visited Airmen at their work centers and in
group settings, such as all-calls and round table discussions, to listen
to their issues and concerns and answer their questions. They joined
the sexual assault and prevention coordinator, Mary Brown, the 90th MW
victim advocates, and other active duty and guard component Airmen on
base, to receive feedback on the program.
"We, as an Air Force, have made progress in the area of sexual assault,
response and prevention," CMSAF Cody said. "I think we are doing a lot,
but we have a lot [more] to do. We will always have to work hard to
ensure we create an environment where would-be predators cannot
perpetrate this crime, and an environment which requires all Airmen to
treat each other with dignity and respect. That takes a lifetime
commitment by all of us to ensure that environment exists."
The Air Force has recently focused their sexual assault and prevention
efforts toward the perpetrators and those who actively seek out and
cause harm to others.
Athena Cody emphasized how it's critical for people to know where attention needs to be placed, and that's on the predators.
"It isn't a random act; perpetrators have an agenda and are looking to
find victims," she said. "We need to acknowledge and begin to eliminate
those environments that allow them to wreak havoc or perpetrate a crime.
I think once we begin to think that way, it makes it an environment
where predators can't operate."
With the prevention of sexual assault a constant objective, the Codys
said they left the SAPR round table with a positive impression of the
SAPR team's efforts and their dedication to fellow Airmen. However,
SAPR programs and events aren't the only place where the Air Force is
Throughout the Air Force, recent initiatives have looked to Airmen to
find solutions to save money, overcome challenges or streamline
processes. One such initiative in the Air Force Global Strike Command is
the Force Improvement Program.
"What's great about FIP is it puts the majority of the things we can get
after in this part of our Air Force into the hands of the Airmen who
execute the mission every day," CMSAF Cody said. "It really is about
putting issues into the hands of innovative Airmen who do the jobs and
having them figure out better ways to do it. We find better ways to
sustain and support not only our country or our partners, but ourselves,
making a better quality of life and a better quality of work."
With such a strong emphasis on performance and innovation, an added
focus has been on teaching Airmen to be resilient in times of trouble or
stress. Learning to cope with stress often varies from
"There are a lot of different things someone can do to help with stress
and it all falls on the resiliency of the person," CMSAF Cody said. "You
have to figure out a way to have an outlet from it. You can't let it
consume you. If you don't have some way to deal with the different
stressors of life, the different stressors of service, you are going to
One way to help deal with stress comes from the ability to determine
what things you can control, and those you have no control over, he
"Most things that we can't control are things that cause the greatest
amount of stress," he said. "You either figure out a way to make a
difference, to relieve that stress, or you have to figure out a way to
move on. Sometimes, that is much easier said than done."
One of the ways CMSAF Cody said he dealt with stress was having the support of his wife and children by his side.
"Our most precious resource has been our family, the way our family has
always been there for each other in those stressful times," he said.
"Even though it doesn't eliminate the stress from happening, it really
helps you work through it. You also have to have a teammate in life. It
can be your spouse, it can be a friend, it can be a family member, but
you have to have someone you can talk to, someone you can confide in,
people that can help you put things in the right perspective."
Athena Cody stressed that a successful family has to be a team.
"The both of you have to step outside of traditional rules, out of those
expectations, and develop a relationship that works both at home, and
at work," she said. "When you are able to do that and can communicate
and really share your needs, you will be successful. The military
lifestyle never changes [and] work never stops. There's a blending of
work and life. Families have to bring balance to that, reminding the
member who is wearing the uniform where to set priorities when at
After visiting the base and meeting with 90th MW Airmen and families,
the consensus was not only how important F.E. Warren's mission is to the
nation, but how that mission is only possible with the dedication and
support of the entire team.
"We really appreciate the opportunity to spend so much time with the
Airmen and their families, to have the opportunity to hear some of their
stories and to have the ability to thank them for what they do every
day for our nation and our partners," CMSAF Cody said. "Their service
and sacrifice is not lost on anybody in our military, certainly not in
our leadership in the Air Force."