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CMSAF talks challenges and rewards of AF life

Senior Airman Daniel Longar describes dental procedures with Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody July 25, 2014, at the dental clinic at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. During his visit, Cody toured the base, visited with and thanked Airmen, hosted two Airmen’s calls, and discussed the challenges and rewards of being in the Air Force today. Longar is with the 21st Dental Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Robb Lingley)

Senior Airman Daniel Longar describes dental procedures with Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody July 25, 2014, at the dental clinic at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. During his visit, Cody toured the base, visited with and thanked Airmen, hosted two Airmen’s calls, and discussed the challenges and rewards of being in the Air Force today. Longar is with the 21st Dental Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Robb Lingley)

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody hosted two Airmen’s Calls during his visit July 24-25, 2014, at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Cody also toured the base, visited with and thanked Airmen, and discussed the challenges and rewards of being in the Air Force today. (U.S. Air Force photo/Robb Lingley)

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody hosted two Airmen’s Calls during his visit July 24-25, 2014, at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Cody also toured the base, visited with and thanked Airmen, and discussed the challenges and rewards of being in the Air Force today. (U.S. Air Force photo/Robb Lingley)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AFNS) -- Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody and his wife Athena paid a visit to Airmen here July 23-25.

During his visit, Cody, the Air Force's senior enlisted leader, toured the base, visited with and thanked the Airmen working hard to support the mission, hosted two Airmen's Calls, and discussed the challenges and rewards of being in the Air Force today.

A top priority over the last year and a half for Cody has been the Enlisted Evaluation System. He said the most important part has already been unveiled, the Airman Comprehensive Assessment, which will help Airmen reach their full potential by getting proper feedback.

"The goal here will be to, over the next 18 months, completely have the new Enlisted Evaluation System with some impact on enlisted promotions phased in," Cody said.

Beyond that, one of the biggest challenges facing Airmen today is the anxiety created from uncertainty about the future from a career standpoint.

"I think what we have to continue to be aware of, and be vigilant to not let happen, is that (uncertainty) overwhelms us to the point that we forget that we have a mission to do every day," Cody said.

Cody acknowledged and repeatedly praised the efforts put in by the Airmen here, including the impact Air Force Space Command has on the Air Force.

"Air Force Space Command is an incredible capability for our nation," he said. "(It's) critically linked to virtually every mission set that we have when you think about how it's connected, as well as how it supports all the other services."

After traveling around the world, Cody, who will celebrate 30 years in the Air Force this coming November, said he has seen parts of the service he never knew existed and realized how much is going on in the Air Force.

"It's all about the people. Just the time we've spent here at Peterson over the last couple days, the pride the men and women have in what they do and how really exceptionally good they are at doing it. That has probably been the most memorable part.

" ... If you are happy to do what you do every day and you know it is valued by people every day, it inspires you and motivates you to keep doing it," Cody said. "The Airmen that continue to raise their right hand, the families that support them to defend our nation, that's why you do it."

Cody spent time talking to many Airmen and getting to know them, remembering their names and stories and recounting them throughout the day.

"If that (their stories) doesn't make you think about what it means to be a part of this team and the type of people that come forward to serve, then you're just not paying attention," he said.

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