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CMSAF transition: Airmen say goodbye to Roy, welcome Cody

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, left, and Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., the commander of Air Education and Training Command, congratulate the 17th Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody during a transition ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., on Jan. 24, 2013.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, left, and Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., the commander of Air Education and Training Command, congratulate the 17th Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody during a transition ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., on Jan. 24, 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley expresses his thanks to Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy upon his retirement and welcomes new Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody during a transition ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Jan 24, 2013.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley expresses his thanks to Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy upon his retirement and welcomes new Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody during a transition ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Jan 24, 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley expresses his thanks to Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy upon his retirement and welcomes new Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody during a transition ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Jan 24, 2013.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley expresses his thanks to Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy upon his retirement and welcomes new Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody during a transition ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Jan 24, 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy encourages his successor Chief Master Sgt. James Cody during their transition ceremony while Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley congratulates them at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Jan. 24, 2013.   (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy encourages his successor Chief Master Sgt. James Cody during their transition ceremony while Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley congratulates them at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Jan. 24, 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III congratulates Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy at Joint Base Andrews, Md., on Jan. 24, 2013, during his retirement ceremony.   (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III congratulates Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy at Joint Base Andrews, Md., on Jan. 24, 2013, during his retirement ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III congratulates Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy at Joint Base Andrews, Md., on Jan. 24, 2013, during his retirement ceremony.   (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III congratulates Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy at Joint Base Andrews, Md., on Jan. 24, 2013, during his retirement ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III presents Paula Roy, wife of  Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy, the Distinguished Public Service award at Joint Base Andrews, Md., on Jan. 24, 2013, during Roy's retirement ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III presents Paula Roy, wife of Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy, the Distinguished Public Service award at Joint Base Andrews, Md., on Jan. 24, 2013, during Roy's retirement ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Becoming the 17th person to hold the office, Chief Master Sgt. James Cody receives his service dress coat with his new insignia from Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., commander of Air Education and Training Command, at Joint Base Andrews, Md., on Jan 24, 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Becoming the 17th person to hold the office, Chief Master Sgt. James Cody receives his service dress coat with his new insignia from Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., commander of Air Education and Training Command, at Joint Base Andrews, Md., on Jan 24, 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Chief Master Sgt. James Cody receives his wheel cap from Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., commander of Air Education and Training Command during a transition ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., on Jan 24, 2013.  Cody is the 17th chief master sergeant of the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Chief Master Sgt. James Cody receives his wheel cap from Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., commander of Air Education and Training Command during a transition ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., on Jan 24, 2013. Cody is the 17th chief master sergeant of the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

The new flag representing the office of the chief master sergeant of the Air Force is displayed before several hundred Airmen attending the transition ceremony which retired Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy and welcomed the 17th person to hold that position, James Cody, during a ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., on Jan. 24, 2013.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)
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The new flag representing the office of the chief master sergeant of the Air Force is displayed before several hundred Airmen attending the transition ceremony which retired Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy and welcomed the 17th person to hold that position, James Cody, during a ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., on Jan. 24, 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

The 17th Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody addresses the audience in attendance at assuming his new position at Joint Base Andrews, Md., on Jan 24, 2013.  Cody talked about looking forward to getting to the bases, meeting Airmen and working their challenges. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)
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The 17th Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody addresses the audience in attendance at assuming his new position at Joint Base Andrews, Md., on Jan 24, 2013. Cody talked about looking forward to getting to the bases, meeting Airmen and working their challenges. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

The 17th Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody addresses the audience in attendance at assuming his new position at Joint Base Andrews, Md., on Jan 24, 2013.  Cody talked about looking forward to getting to the bases, meeting Airmen and working their challenges. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)
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The 17th Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody addresses the audience in attendance at assuming his new position at Joint Base Andrews, Md., on Jan 24, 2013. Cody talked about looking forward to getting to the bases, meeting Airmen and working their challenges. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, left, and Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., the commander of Air Education and Training Command, congratulate the 17th Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody during a transition ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., on Jan. 24, 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)
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Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, left, and Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., the commander of Air Education and Training Command, congratulate the 17th Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody during a transition ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., on Jan. 24, 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Hundreds of Airmen and distinguished visitors gathered at Joint Base Andrews, Md. on Jan. 24, 2013 to pay tribute to Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy during his retirement ceremony and to welcome Chief Master Sgt. James Cody as he transitions into becoming the 17th Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force. Roy, the 16th Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force, is retiring after more than 30 years of service. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jim Varhegyi)
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Hundreds of Airmen and distinguished visitors gathered at Joint Base Andrews, Md. on Jan. 24, 2013 to pay tribute to Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy during his retirement ceremony and to welcome Chief Master Sgt. James Cody as he transitions into becoming the 17th Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force. Roy, the 16th Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force, is retiring after more than 30 years of service. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jim Varhegyi)

Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, (left), Air Education and Training Command Commander Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy and Chief Master Sgt. James Cody are center stage as hundreds of Airmen and distinguished visitors gathered at Joint Base Andrews, Md. on Jan. 24, 2013 to pay tribute to Roy during his retirement ceremony and to welcome Cody as the 17th Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force. Roy is retiring after more than 30 years of service. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jim Varhegyi)
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Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, (left), Air Education and Training Command Commander Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy and Chief Master Sgt. James Cody are center stage as hundreds of Airmen and distinguished visitors gathered at Joint Base Andrews, Md. on Jan. 24, 2013 to pay tribute to Roy during his retirement ceremony and to welcome Cody as the 17th Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force. Roy is retiring after more than 30 years of service. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jim Varhegyi)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III expresses his thanks for the 30 years of service of Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy during Roy's retirement ceremony on Joint Base Andrews, Md. on Jan. 24, 2013. Welsh also welcomed Chief Master Sgt. James Cody as he transitions into becoming the 17th Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force. Roy, the 16th Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force, is retiring after more than 30 years of service. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jim Varhegyi)
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Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III expresses his thanks for the 30 years of service of Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy during Roy's retirement ceremony on Joint Base Andrews, Md. on Jan. 24, 2013. Welsh also welcomed Chief Master Sgt. James Cody as he transitions into becoming the 17th Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force. Roy, the 16th Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force, is retiring after more than 30 years of service. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jim Varhegyi)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III presents "Miss Paula" Roy, the wife of Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy, with the Distinguished Public Service Medal during Chief Roy's retirement ceremony on Joint Base Andrews, Md. on Jan. 24, 2013. Roy, the 16th Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force, is retiring after more than 30 years of service. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jim Varhegyi)
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Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III presents "Miss Paula" Roy, the wife of Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy, with the Distinguished Public Service Medal during Chief Roy's retirement ceremony on Joint Base Andrews, Md. on Jan. 24, 2013. Roy, the 16th Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force, is retiring after more than 30 years of service. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jim Varhegyi)

The newly appointed 17th Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody thanks freshly retired Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy for his years of friendship and guidance during a transition and retirement ceremony, Jan. 24, 2013, on Joint Base Andrews, Md. Roy, the 16th Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force, retired after more than 30 years of service. Cody then said he was looking forward to getting out to the bases, meeting Airmen and working their challenges. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jim Varhegyi)
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The newly appointed 17th Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody thanks freshly retired Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy for his years of friendship and guidance during a transition and retirement ceremony, Jan. 24, 2013, on Joint Base Andrews, Md. Roy, the 16th Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force, retired after more than 30 years of service. Cody then said he was looking forward to getting out to the bases, meeting Airmen and working their challenges. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jim Varhegyi)

Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley congratulates the newly appointed 17th Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody during a retirement and transition ceremony on Joint Base Andrews, Md. on Jan. 24, 2013. Donley also bid farewell to Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy who retired after more than 30 years of service. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jim Varhegyi)
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Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley congratulates the newly appointed 17th Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody during a retirement and transition ceremony on Joint Base Andrews, Md. on Jan. 24, 2013. Donley also bid farewell to Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy who retired after more than 30 years of service. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jim Varhegyi)

The newly retired Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy tacks on the chevron of Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody at a transition and retirement ceremony, Jan. 24, 2013, on Joint Base Andrews, Md. Roy, the 16th chief master sergeant of the Air Force, retired after more than 30 years of service to the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jim Varhegyi)
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The newly retired Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy tacks on the chevron of Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody at a transition and retirement ceremony, Jan. 24, 2013, on Joint Base Andrews, Md. Roy, the 16th chief master sergeant of the Air Force, retired after more than 30 years of service to the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jim Varhegyi)

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody and the 16th Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force (ret.) James Roy watch as the colors are posted during the retirement and transition ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Jan. 24, 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo)
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Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody and the 16th Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force (ret.) James Roy watch as the colors are posted during the retirement and transition ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Jan. 24, 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, applauds as the 16th Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy thanks his wife, Paula, during the retirement and transition ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Jan. 24, 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo)
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Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, applauds as the 16th Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy thanks his wife, Paula, during the retirement and transition ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Jan. 24, 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo)

Secretary of the Air Force, Michael Donley, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, and Commander Air Education and Training Command Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr. congratulate Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy as he retires after more than 30 years of service at Joint Base Andrews, Md., on Jan. 24, 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo)
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Secretary of the Air Force, Michael Donley, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, and Commander Air Education and Training Command Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr. congratulate Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy as he retires after more than 30 years of service at Joint Base Andrews, Md., on Jan. 24, 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, and Commander Air Education and Training Command Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr. congratulate newly appointed Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody at the transition ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Jan. 24, 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo)
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Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, and Commander Air Education and Training Command Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr. congratulate newly appointed Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody at the transition ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Jan. 24, 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo)

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. (AFNS) -- The Air Force appointed its 17th chief master sergeant of the Air Force during a transition and retirement ceremony here Jan. 24.

In his last official act before retiring, Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy relinquished the duties and responsibilities of the Air Force's highest enlisted leader to Chief Master Sgt. James Cody.

Looking across the airplane hangar, Cody addressed some of his main goals in his new position.

"We have to invest before we can reap rewards," said Cody, who was previously assigned as the command chief master sergeant of Air Education and Training Command. "We will continue to invest in the development of our Airmen in the most deliberate way possible, and we will ensure our force is ready to handle the challenges it will face in the future."

Cody said as the service's senior enlisted leader, his focus will be on helping Airmen be successful.

"We need to protect them by making sure they know how to deal with the stress that comes with military life," said Cody. "We will focus on strengthening relationships, taking care of one another, and holding each other more accountable for measuring up to the high standards we demand of every Airman."

Themes of innovation and critical thinking were reinforced throughout the ceremony with Cody calling upon Airmen to continue being efficient tacticians.

"As resources tighten, our nation will require more from each one of us. Airmen will meet that challenge through innovation as they always have," he said.

Though today's ceremony was a time to celebrate the retirement of Roy and the appointment Cody, leaders reminded the crowd that there's work to be done.

The Air Force's highest ranking uniformed Airman said he is ready to roll up his sleeves, alongside Chief and Mrs. Cody.

"Take a look around the hangar here," said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III. "This is your Air Force. And all of us are now your Airmen. Lead us well."

During the ceremony, the Air Force debuted a new item for enlisted Airmen to be proud of -- the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force positional colors.

Today's ceremony contained great moments -- the transition of the service's 17th CMSAF and the unveiling of the positional colors. However, there was also a bittersweet moment as the Air Force said farewell to a great Airman.

Speaking to his character, one theme throughout Roy's farewell speech was the importance of relationships.

"Over the past few weeks I've spent a lot of time reflecting on my career," said Roy. "I've been thinking -- not about what we got accomplished, or what we didn't get accomplished -- but about relationships.

"Our 30 years in the Air Force allowed Ms. Paula and I to develop a lot of valuable relationships," he said. "We are thankful for each of these, and will continue to build on them as we move into the next chapter of our lives."

Roy's three and a half years as chief master sergeant of the Air Force was marked by building relationships with Airmen. A staunch advocate of face-to-face communication, Roy traveled about nine months out of each year to meet and interact with Airmen of all ranks.

Cody said he will continue that legacy.

"To ensure continued success, leaders at all levels must focus on our Airmen and their families," said Cody. "We look forward to getting out to the bases and meeting our Airmen, listening to their stories, understanding their challenges. And we're committing to you we will bring those back and work those issues hard here on the staff."

After closely working together the past six months, Roy and Welsh have bonded over a common denominator -- caring for Airmen.

"Chief Roy, there's just no way to properly say thank you for what you've given to our Air Force ... but thank you," said Welsh. "Take care of yourself 16, and wear the number proudly. You've earned it."

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