|Air Force Communicators & Air Traffic Controllers Association||
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, left, and Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., the commander of Air Education and Training Command, congratulate the 17th Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody during a transition ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., on Jan. 24, 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)
Editor's note: Chief Cody and his wife, retired CMSgt Athena Cody, are both career air traffic controllers. She is a life member of the Air Force Communicators and Air Traffic Controllers Association.
1/24/2013 - JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. (AFNS) -- The Air Force appointed its 17th chief master sergeant of the Air Force during a transition and retirement ceremony here Jan. 24.
In his last official act before retiring, Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy relinquished the duties and responsibilities of the Air Force's highest enlisted leader to Chief Master Sgt. James Cody.
Looking across the airplane hangar, Cody addressed some of his main goals in his new position.
"We have to invest before we can reap rewards," said Cody, who was previously assigned as the command chief master sergeant of Air Education and Training Command. "We will continue to invest in the development of our Airmen in the most deliberate way possible, and we will ensure our force is ready to handle the challenges it will face in the future."
Cody said as the service's senior enlisted leader, his focus will be on helping Airmen be successful.
"We need to protect them by making sure they know how to deal with the stress that comes with military life," said Cody. "We will focus on strengthening relationships, taking care of one another, and holding each other more accountable for measuring up to the high standards we demand of every Airman."
Themes of innovation and critical thinking were reinforced throughout the ceremony with Cody calling upon Airmen to continue being efficient tacticians.
"As resources tighten, our nation will require more from each one of us. Airmen will meet that challenge through innovation as they always have," he said.
Though today's ceremony was a time to celebrate the retirement of Roy and the appointment Cody, leaders reminded the crowd that there's work to be done.
The Air Force's highest ranking uniformed Airman said he is ready to roll up his sleeves, alongside Chief and Mrs. Cody.
"Take a look around the hangar here," said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III. "This is your Air Force. And all of us are now your Airmen. Lead us well."
Roy's three and a half years as chief master sergeant of the Air Force was marked by building relationships with Airmen. A staunch advocate of face-to-face communication, Roy traveled about nine months out of each year to meet and interact with Airmen of all ranks. Cody said he will continue that legacy.
"To ensure continued success, leaders at all levels must focus on our Airmen and their families," said Cody. "We look forward to getting out to the bases and meeting our Airmen, listening to their stories, understanding their challenges. And we're committing to you we will bring those back and work those issues hard here on the staff."