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CMSAF stresses total-force unity

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. (AFNS) -- There is no distinction among Airmen within the Air Force components when it comes to how they perform their jobs, how they live up to standards and how they embrace the service's core values, said Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody during a visit here June 24-25.

"Robins (AFB) is a great example of our Air Force," he said during an enlisted call. "I'm looking out at all of you, and you represent the United States Air Force. We have four distinct components — active duty, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve and civilian Airmen. Together they make up our United States Air Force."

For the past 20 years, the reserve components have been called upon and have served in the same capacity as their active-duty counterparts. According to Cody, they offer unique strengths — strength in community and resiliency in units — because they are able to stay connected for longer periods of time.

"What our reserves bring to the table is their civilian experience,” Cody said. “A different level of depth than active-duty Airmen, who predominately focus on the way they must do their Air Force job."

Because there is only one Air Force, Cody explained that all Airmen must understand and appreciate the fundamental differences between the components. The unity among the active duty, Guard, Reserve and civilians is crucial to the Air Force mission.

"Airmen serve worldwide,” Cody said. “When they are where the nation needs them to be, we don't have this discussion. We just see Airmen doing what our nation calls them to do, but somehow when we get back home we revert back to this 'I'm in the Guard, I'm in the Reserve, I'm in the active duty.' No, you are in the United States Air Force."

In addition to speaking to the importance of unified components, Cody talked about the challenges facing today's Air Force.

"We're going to be a smaller Air Force," he said. "Where we maintain capability and capacity is important for what our nation is going to ask us to do."

Cody said fiscal challenges are forcing tough and sometimes unpopular decisions. He assured the Airmen that they and their families are always a major consideration.

"The future will always change and if we don't shape it ourselves we will be shaped by it," he said. "The fact is that what you do has purpose to our nation and is impacting people around the world. Don't lose sight of that. You and your families are without question our most valuable asset. Our nation treasures each and every one of you."
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