CMSAF visits Kadena

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Omari Bernard
  • 18th Wing Public Affairs
Airmen were not short on questions during Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody's visit to Kadena Air Base July 5-8.

Serving in the Air Force with fiscal constraints and an ever changing future has created challenges, but for its highest ranking enlisted Airman those obstacles are his priority.

"We are currently the smallest Air Force in the history of the Air Force since 1947, yet we are more globally engaged today than ever before," Cody said. "We are in the longest sustained combat operations in the history of our country, and we are doing that with an all-volunteer, professional force."

The chief visited multiple units across the installation, speaking face to face with Airmen, as well as hosting two all calls for Kadena AB’s enlisted Airmen.

During the junior enlisted all call, Kadena AB’s Airmen were interested to hear about “big picture” Air Force issues, such as the uncertainty Airmen may feel over the future of their benefits. Cody addressed how budget constraints have had a huge impact.

"We are the best compensated military we have ever been," he said. "Everything our Airmen and families receive today, they have earned. But, the idea (that) we will be able to continue on the rate of growth is not sustainable. We do not want to reduce or cut anything, but we have to be realistic. It can't continue to grow at the same rate it has and remain sustainable."

The chief also addressed the recent changes to the enlisted performance review with a larger focus on job performance.

"First and foremost, we expect you to do your job really well," Cody said. "Performance in your primary duty is the priority as an Airman in our Air Force."

Cody told Airmen aspiring to become NCOs and senior NCOs to focus on the mission first and the rest will follow.

"The most important job you have today is not thinking about being a chief master sergeant," Cody said. "The most important job you have today is the job you have, and you need to be really good at it today."

The chief addressed concerns about the new Enlisted Evaluation System.

"I know everyone is interested in the new enlisted performance report system, but it's just a form," Cody said. "Our expectations of you have not changed in any way, shape or form. How we are documenting that and how we are quantifying that is changing dramatically. Just keep doing your best."

As for the environment on Kadena AB, Cody said he was impressed by the Airmen within the wing and partner units during his tours.

"You should be extremely proud of (who) you are, what you do and who you represent," Cody said. "You're working hard, and that's not lost on anybody. What we do here every day is important -- lives do depend on it. I think you know that -- I sense (it) while I am out visiting you. Stay focused on that.

"Don't allow yourself to become disconnected from the Air Force," he continued. "This is not my Air Force; this is our Air Force. Everything good about it resides in this room. That doesn't mean we're perfect, but we can get through it. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for what you do. Thanks for how hard you are working -- your service and sacrifices are purposeful, meaningful and it makes a difference."

After Kadena AB, Cody is scheduled to continue his tour to locations throughout the Pacific Air Forces.

Cody’s visit included meeting with numerous units around the base and talking with Airmen. He also met with Kadena AB’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response team, victim advocates and Special Victims’ Council to discuss strategies on preventing sexual assault in the Air Force.