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CMSAF visits Lajes, engages with Airmen

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody speaks to Airmen during an all call Jan. 26, 2015 at the 65th Air Base Wing, Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal . Cody is currently on a tour of bases within the United States Air Forces in Europe command to express his gratitude to Airmen, listen to their concerns and answer their questions. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Zachary Wolf)

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody speaks to Airmen during an all call Jan. 26, 2015 at the 65th Air Base Wing, Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal . Cody is currently on a tour of bases within the United States Air Forces in Europe command to express his gratitude to Airmen, listen to their concerns and answer their questions. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Zachary Wolf)

LAJES FIELD, Azores (AFNS) -- Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody and his wife, retired Chief Master Sgt. Athena Cody, made a stop at Lajes Field, Azores, during a tour of remote locations across U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Jan. 26.

During his visit here, Cody recognized outstanding performers and received a 65th Air Base Wing mission brief. He then held an all call to hear from Airmen and address their concerns.

Cody highlighted a few of the changes to the enlisted evaluation and promotion system and addressed a question on the new process for promotion to master sergeant. He said that technical sergeants, who are eligible to promote, will meet a promotion board this spring.

"The board will do just what they do with seniors and chiefs," Cody said. "They will look at your record and give you a board score."

Additionally, Cody said the new Enlisted Performance Report will remove the current numbered rating system and use word pictures to document job performance and promotion recommendations.

Word pictures are short descriptions that are included on the EPR and are used to help determine if an Airman meets or exceeds standards.

While he recognized that these changes will be a challenge, he believes that over time it will move the enlisted force in the right direction.

During the Airman's Call, Cody also offered advice for young Airmen serving today. He said many Airmen may be uncertain about making the Air Force a career. He acknowledged that was their choice, and gave some advice he received when he was a young Airman.

"Work hard every day, work like you are going to stay in the Air Force for 20 years and then along the way if you decide to get out you will be in a place to make the right decision," Cody said.

Cody ended his Airmen call by acknowledging a smaller military presence at Lajes Field, but emphasizing the importance of the relationship between the U.S. and Portugal.

"We have been talking about getting smaller at Lajes,” Cody said. “…We have had a tremendous relationship with the Portuguese for decades, since before our Air Force was an Air Force, and that relationship will continue into the future. The relationship we have here is not going away. We have to find the right balance to project combat power with our partners in the future."

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