FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. — Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody addressed the Airman Comprehensive Assessment, or ACA, how it influences enlisted performance reports, and how those reports will affect future promotions during his latest CHIEFchat at the Defense Media Activity, here.
“Its important people get ready for this idea of how we’re going to have performance assessment influence promotion recommendations,” Cody said. “Today you have a performance assessment that in essence is your promotion recommendation.”
According to Cody, performance will be assessed by how well an Airman meets or exceeds established standards. Commanders will then give promotion eligible Airmen a promotion recommendation based on how ready the Airmen are for the next rank. Commanders, not supervisors, will determine who gets the different promotion recommendations, and they will be limited on the top recommendations to ensure the Air Force can discern amongst Airmen for promotion.
Cody said it’s important to give Airmen in the top tier an advantage, but still make it competitive for all Airmen who receive a recommendation for promotion. As for the number of Airmen being promoted annually, there will be no change.
“We’re not going to promote any less people because we’re going over to a new system,” Cody said. “We’re going to promote the same amount of people we needed to promote with this system. It’s just going to be different people; and to be honest, you’re all going to know who those people are. You already know who those people are today.”
Airmen not eligible for promotion will still receive a performance assessment annually, with a static close-out date for each rank. Cody said Airmen will start to see changes to the system over the next year and a half.
One question asked during the CHIEFchat was about the ACA and the lack of space supervisors have to document feedback with their Airmen.
“There’s a reason we didn’t put a bunch of blank spaces,” Cody said. “Because we want a conversation to take place, it’s about what takes place between the supervisor and the ratee.”
The conversation is the important part, and if supervisors need more space, it’s ok to add a separate sheet of paper, he added.
Cody said the ACA is a resource for supervisors to let their Airmen know how they’re performing, lay out expectations and guide their Airmen to meet the expectations.
Cody also gave his thoughts on what he thinks are important skills a new NCO should obtain.
“[During the] initial stages of [your] career you want to get really good at your job,” Cody said. “As an NCO, a frontline supervisor, you need to be very technically competent, because the junior Airmen that work for you are going to expect you to know how to do your job.”
CHIEFchat is a recurring initiative, designed to give Airmen around the world a direct connection to the chief master sergeant of the Air Force. The chief received questions via video message, social media outlets and from members of a studio audience.