by Master Sgt. Marvin R. Preston
Air National Guard Readiness Center Public Affairs
7/27/2015 - JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. -- The
Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force, James A. Cody, shared his thoughts
on the future of the force with Air National Guard Airmen during an
enlisted call July 23 here.
During the discussion, Cody addressed the professional development of
Airmen, diversity and possible changes in the way the Air Force
integrates the active-duty and reserve components in the years ahead.
"This [discussion] is a great opportunity," said Cody. "It's important
that we have a dialog so I can represent you in the right way and that
means knowing what's on your mind, what concerns you have and what
questions you have about what we're working on and hopefully I'll be
able to give you a perspective on why we're doing things."
One of the key topics of discussion was ability of active-duty and
reserve component Airmen to be more integrated along career paths.
Traditionally, it has been possible but difficult to move among
components throughout a career.
"We need to have this ability for Airmen to go between components," said
Cody. "The seam that exists today needs to be smoothed out and there
needs to be lots of gateways where our Airmen can move between them."
As part of the recently released Air Force Strategic Master Plan, the
Human Capital strategy addresses recruiting, retaining and developing
Airmen, as well as talent management, all with an eye toward the future
that will demand increased diversity and inclusiveness to achieve
collective innovative potential. It continues the emphasis on
integrating components of the Air Force in an effective manner.
"To be in the most senior leadership positions in our Air Force in the
future, you're going to have to have done real tangible time within the
other components," said Cody. "You're going to have to have been an
active-duty Airman who worked in the reserve component...worked with
them and done the business at hand because we're one Air Force and if we
don't have that depth of experience and knowledge we are not going to
be as effective as we need to be as a force."
Cody referenced a number of senior enlisted leader positions currently
opened for the best available Airmen to compete and shared the most
recent success story.
"Chief Master Sgt. Danny Doucette is a great example, because he's the
commandant of the First Sergeants Academy [at Maxwell, AFB, Alabama],
the first time ever held by a reserve component Airman," said Cody. "Why
is Chief Doucette the commandant? It has nothing to do with the fact
that he's in the Air National Guard, but everything to do with him being
the right chief at the right time to do that job. He's got the
credibility, ability and training and he was the best candidate to take
on that role."
Cody explained that through proper development the pool of qualified
Airmen will be available, regardless of component and that he is
encouraged about the future.
"It's something I'm very excited about and I think you should be excited
about," said Cody. "This idea that we're being very deliberate about
ensuring that we have a human capital strategy that encompasses every
single one of us - not just one component and it has to be a human
capital strategy that blends all of the diversity and strength we have
in the force and that is representation of the four components."
Cody also fielded questions and addressed concerns from the audience
about breaches in cyber security, Enlisted Performance Reports and
proposed cuts to dual military member Basic Allowance for Housing and
its effect on attracting and keeping quality Airmen.
"In more than 30 years of service I've never seen a more targeted
approach to take money from Airmen ever," said Cody. "I've seen the
growth slowed, because we just can't sustain the growth and compensation
we've been doing the last 15 years. It's just not reasonable to think
we can. We've tried to make minor modifications so that Airmen aren't
having money taken out of their pocket, but the growth would slow over
time. The idea of taking dual military couples and eliminating one of
the BAH rates to a single rate, or if you happen to be a military member
rooming with another member and losing 25 percent [of your BAH rate] is
unconscionable in an all-volunteer professional force."
Cody also touched on cyber security in the wake of recent breaches and
the new Enlisted Performance Report process. After finishing his talk,
Cody thanked the crowd for what they do.
"I'm proud to serve with each and every one of you, said Cody. "I'm
extremely proud of what you're doing every day. Despite what narratives
may be out there or what others might say, don't let anyone define your
service and your sacrifice; you define it by what you do every day.
Every single day is a privilege to be an Airman in the United States Air
Force and put this uniform on. We ask a lot out of you but I think you
get a lot out of it or you wouldn't be here, what you do is meaningful