SEPTEMBER 18, 2014, WASHINGTON (AFNS) – Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody discussed the force’s way forward at the 2014 Air Force Association’s Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition here Sept. 17.
During the final day of the three-day conference, Cody highlighted the Air Force’s innovative processes to buffer budget and manpower cuts, which will shape the future of the force.
“Every generation has had their challenges — everything we do in our United States Air Force is done on the backs of our Airmen,” Cody said, emphasizing the need for deliberate and meaningful decisions. “This is what we do and is who we are (but) the real discussion is, is it reasonable and sustainable?”
Cody explained the future of the force will be driven by the Enlisted Evaluation System, promotions and professional military education blending.
“As we move forward we are going to do some pretty significant things,” Cody said. “This is exciting because it is a turning point. We have to evolve the systems that have been in place a long time and think about what we need them to do in the future.”
Of EES changes, Cody reported performance would count in a very visible way.
“There is just one flaw we have the system today and that is us, we are the flaw,” he said. “We can’t execute it in the way we need to execute it.”
The chief also described promotion system’s evolution.
“Systems must evolve over time to meet the demands and needs of the institution,” Cody said. “Next year, we will implement master sergeant promotion boards … We are looking for sustained performance over time (which we’ll) see when we do these record reviews.”
Cody also championed the transitioning of PME to a blending approach, moving away from completely in-residence training and implementing more distance learning.
“The blended approach is the most effective approach; it is more adaptable (and) we can deliver it to more Airmen,” Cody said. “We can make sure that every component of our Air Force has access to it in an equal way where we don’t have to prioritize one over the other because of the cost associated with it.”
Ultimately, Cody expressed optimism in the service’s future and said Airmen should be proud of their work.
“We are excited about the things that we are doing right now; we are answering the call,” he said. “We are evolving and moving forward.”