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Top AF senior enlisted leader testifies on AF quality of life

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody answers a question about the quality of life in the military during a hearing of the House Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veteran's Affairs, Feb. 26, 2014, in Washington, D.C. With Cody on Capitol Hill were senior enlisted advisors for the other services: Sgt. Major of the Marine Corps Michael Barrett, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Michael Stevens and Sgt. Major of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jim Varhegyi)

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody answers a question about the quality of life in the military during a hearing of the House Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veteran's Affairs, Feb. 26, 2014, in Washington, D.C. With Cody on Capitol Hill were senior enlisted advisers for the other services: Sgt. Major of the Marine Corps Michael Barrett, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Michael Stevens and Sgt. Major of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jim Varhegyi)

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody (left) listens to a question posed to him about the quality of life in the military during a hearing of the House Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veteran's Affairs, Feb. 26, 2014, in Washington, D.C. With Cody on Capitol Hill were senior enlisted advisors for the other services: Sgt. Major of the Marine Corps Michael Barrett, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Michael Stevens and Sgt. Major of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jim Varhegyi)

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody (left) listens to a question posed to him about the quality of life in the military during a hearing of the House Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veteran's Affairs, Feb. 26, 2014, in Washington, D.C. With Cody on Capitol Hill were senior enlisted advisers for the other services: Sgt. Major of the Marine Corps Michael Barrett, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Michael Stevens and Sgt. Major of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jim Varhegyi)

WASHINGTON (AFNS) --

The top Air Force senior enlisted adviser testified during a hearing of the House Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veteran's Affairs, Feb. 26, in Washington, D.C.

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody, as well as the other services’ senior enlisted advisers answered questions from the committee and provided updates on quality of life issues within their respective service. The testimony focused on compensation and benefits and their impact on recruiting and retention.

"Service members are not over compensated," Cody said. "But we have to do the responsible thing here. We have to slow growth so we can work within the current fiscal reality and still produce the strongest force for our nation."

The collective impact of the multiple discussions on changes to compensation and benefits causes stress on the force Cody said. 

"We've been talking about this stuff for years, but the way we're talking about it is new," he said. "We're talking about it all once.  Our Airmen are proud to serve, but the uncertainty is stressing the force."

Cody said decisions on many of the proposed changes could alleviate the uncertainty and reduce the stress.

The service's senior enlisted advisers also responded to questions about child care, spouse employment and family care programs.

“Our Air Force families are a critical component to our success,” Cody said.  “These men and women serve alongside the service member by taking care of the home front while we employ and enable airpower around the world. Their faith and support is critical to our Airmen and enable the focus and dedication our complex missions require."

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