CHIEFchat: CMSAF addresses promotion changes, special duty selection

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody spoke of upcoming promotion changes, the developmental special duty selection process and misuse of social media during his third worldwide CHIEFchat at the Defense Media Activity here March 12.

CHIEFchat is a recurring initiative, designed to give Airmen around the world a direct connection to the chief master sergeant of the Air Force. The chief received questions via video message, social media outlets and from members of the studio audience.

During the open forum, an Airman connecting via video asked about potential changes to how master sergeants are selected in the future.

“We’re looking at … how we’re going to make this transition from the current way that we promote (technical) sergeants to master sergeants to what we are evolving to, and that is through a board process,” Cody said.

Cody said the board process would include a “hurdle system.” The first hurdle for technical sergeants will be the current WAPS system with minor modifications. Airmen who clear this hurdle will be considered under a board process similar to the way senior master sergeants and chief master sergeants are selected.

“It’s important that our Airmen understand we’re evolving to a new process because the role of the senior NCO in our Air Force, over time, has evolved significantly,” the chief said. “It’s not because we think we’re promoting the wrong people to (master sergeant).”

An Airman-submitted question on the nomination process for developmental special duties was also addressed during CHIEFchat. This process, implemented force-wide July 2013, is used to select NCOs to serve as recruiters, professional military education instructors, technical training instructors and other developmental special duty positions.

“It is not a process by which this is a new way to volunteer,” Cody said. “Airmen can certainly volunteer by letting their leadership know they have interest in those developmental special duties, but that’s not the prerequisite for selection or for nomination. The real process here is we want the leadership to look at their Airmen against these developmental special duty positions and say who they feel from the staff sergeant, (technical) sergeant and master sergeant grades would be best suited to perform that duty and then nominate those Airmen.”

Cody said the nomination process will continue to be refined.

In the studio, an Airman asked about the misuse of social media by service members and how it can affect an Airman’s career.

“We get that asked a lot, certainly because of recent events and this is not the first time that we’ve had events that showed up in social media that brought discredit upon our Air Force, and by and large a couple other events that brought discredit upon our entire military,” Cody said.

Social media can be a way to disseminate information and Cody said it is even used in his office; however, he added, it is a tool that must be used properly.

“Think about it like this, when you put something on social media, you’re saying it out loud and literally tens of thousands to millions of people can see (it),” he said. “So if what you’re getting ready to post on social media is not something that you would actually like to say out loud, in front of tens of thousands of people, or millions of people you might want to think about not doing it.”

For further information from Cody on these topics and more, visit his page or view CHIEFchat here.

Airmen can join the conversation with the chief master sergeant of the Air Force by following him on Facebook at