ORLANDO — The Air Force’s top enlisted member took the stage Feb. 20 at the Air Force Association Air Warfare Symposium and Technology Exposition here to highlight the advantage Airmen, past and present, give the Air Force.
Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody spoke to a full house about how preserving that advantage doesn’t lie solely within the equipment and firepower of the Air Force, it lies with the Airmen.
“When you talk about preserving the airpower advantage, there is just no way you can’t talk about our Airmen,” Cody said. “You’ve got to have (equipment) … but if you don’t have these Airmen, you just have (equipment), how do you preserve (the advantage)?”
Cody said a key part of preserving the airpower advantage is communication. He said leaders are trying to get information out using the methods preferred by today’s Airmen. They want to curb the dissonance between the information’s intent, and how it is received by Airmen.
“We are trying to communicate … when I say communicate, that (means) distribute information to the force,” he said. “As we work through these challenging times we have to connect with our Airmen … It has to be meaningful, it has to be purposeful, there has to be a level of respect and dignity amongst us. “
Cody said creating a connection with the Airmen is of the highest priority. It is what will hold everyone together during a difficult time in today’s Air Force. He said holding together and supporting one another, through that connection, is the key to success in the future.
“It is a bond that will work through all the challenges,” he said. “Communication is information, it’s important, but the connection is what’s going to hold us together.”
He concluded by touching on a celebration of the heritage and backgrounds of the Airmen who make the Air Force run, and do the mission day in and day out. He said capturing the diversity of the force is what it’s all about.
“We really do need to celebrate our Airmen in our Air Force every day,” Cody said. “We can’t lose sight of all the good work our Airmen do – we just can’t — because it’s those people who give our Air Force the advantage.”