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CMSAF discusses force management with Langley Airmen

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody speaks to the 1st Operations Squadron Jan. 7, 2014, during his tour of Langley Air Force Base, Va. Cody visited multiple wings and discussed force management issues, budget concerns and the future of the enlisted force with Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Areca T. Wilson)

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody speaks to the 1st Operations Squadron Jan. 7, 2014, during his tour of Langley Air Force Base, Va. Cody visited multiple wings and discussed force management issues, budget concerns and the future of the enlisted force with Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Areca T. Wilson)

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (AFNS) --

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody talked openly with Airmen about force management measures that will affect the future of the Air Force during his visit here Jan. 7-8.

Cody said Airmen should prepare for the many programs, most of which are driven by the current budget constraints facing the Air Force.

"We're going to have to reduce the size of the force to a significant degree," Cody said. "We need to make sure our Airmen have the information they need to make informed decisions. Our frontline supervisors are a big part of that -- it's critical they help Airmen fully understand their options and refer them to agencies that can help."

The enlisted retention program is one of several expanded force management programs that will be implemented this year. Other fiscal year 2014 programs include a chief master sergeant retention board, enlisted retention boards, enlisted quality force review boards, officer force shaping board, enhanced selective early retirement boards, a reduction in force board, and officer and enlisted voluntary separation pay incentives for Airmen in non-critical, overage specialties.

The decision was made to announce these force management programs now in order to give Airmen as much time as possible to plan for the future.

"There are going to be a lot of good Airmen who will have to leave our Air Force, and that's unfortunate," Cody said. "But there will still be a lot of Airmen in our Air Force, and it's important they ask themselves, 'Do I want to be an Airman? Do I want to serve my nation in the world's greatest Air Force?' If the answer is yes, there will be a place for you in our Air Force if you work hard and do your very best. If the answer is no, then you may need to think about what is next for you, and that's okay."

Through these force management measures and budgetary constraints, Cody assured Airmen that he and other Air Force leaders would be transparent and make decisions in the best interest of the Air Force and its Airmen.

"At the end of this, we will still be the world's greatest Air Force," Cody said. "We will still have highly-skilled Airmen who are ready to support our core missions. There is no other option."

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