Tag Archives: CMSAF

CMSAF and Mrs. Cody Dec. 4 tweetchat

CMSAF James Cody participates in a tweetchat.
by Air Force Public Affairs Agency
Social Media Division

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody and Mrs. Athena Cody particpated in their first tweetchat together Dec. 4 and received 16 questions from Twitter followers regarding the topic: Raising a Family in the Military. During the hour-long event, Chief Cody’s team and the Air Force Social Media Team answered questions about PT scores and the WAPS system, to personnel cutbacks, commissary closures and military family and career advice. We had the pleasure of chatting with Chief and Mrs. Cody in person, but in case you missed it, here are all the questions and answers from the chat. Stay tuned for our next #USAFChat event!

Q1: To improve the PT program as well as the WAPS system, why not include members’ PT score in the WAPS calculation?
A1: We’ve looked at it & we’re not going to go in that direction. That is only one of many standards you have to achieve. (cont)
A1(cont): There are many factors that can impact your PT test & we don’t think it should be valued more than it already is.

Q2: Will education be factored into being retained during cutbacks, or is it a wrong place wrong time kind of thing?
A2: Performance will be the primary factor, and currently we aren’t looking at education as a discerning factor in retention.

Q3: Are there plans for an option, similar to join-spouse option, to help divorced or single parents stay closer to their children?
A3: We can appreciate the concern this presents for some Amn & their families. Currently we’re not looking at this, however (cont)
A3(cont): it’s something we could consider as a topic to present at our Caring for People Forum.

Q4: What are the plans if the govt shuts down again in January?
A4: Implications of a govt shutdown in January, if it were to occur, would be driven through the OPM and DOD.

Q5: Chief with reduction in Amn numbers do you see essential personnel moving away from siloed AFSCs to generalist functional duties?
A5: No. Any force management decisions will be focused on AFSCs with overages.

Q6: Any concern using E5 & E6 strat method for special duty assignment selections & depleting talent from units/career fields?
A6: No, there is no restriction or fenced career fields as it relates to the nominations. (cont)
A6(cont): We will not select Airmen to leave career fields that will be unable to perform their mission w/o these Airmen.

Q7: How will we retain enlisted in growing highly technical fields like cyber and intel afsc?
A7: If we identify a problem w/ retention in these career fields, options are available to offer incentives to increase retention.

Q8: Has the true impact of closing commissaries been studied?
A8: There has been no decision to close commissaries. We’re currently looking at the implications & impact this could have. (cont)
A8(cont):The current fiscal situation has forced the DOD to look at everything. (cont)
A8(cont): We do appreciate the concern and potential impact this would have on our Airmen and their families.

Q9: What additional measures are being considered for force management – additional TERA retirements, palace chase, etc?
A9: We are considering all available options. While we’ve not yet implemented these measures, our first option will be to (cont)
A9(cont): offer voluntary programs and incentives to our Airmen to meet required end strength.

Q10: Coming from a young Airman, what is your best advice to make chief?
A10: Be really, really good at your job. Performance is key.

Q11: What advice would you have for a young dual military couple?
A11: Support one other. It takes a team & both must be equal partners. (cont)

Q12: If you have a civilian wife, is she guaranteed to live with you on base?
A12: If you’re authorized & housing is available, your spouse can live w/ you. There are no guarantees housing will be available.

Q13: If retirement age changes to 65, will those alrdy in be grandfathered so they still receive it after 20+ yrs of service?
A13: The current position in the DOD and of the service chiefs is that any changes to the current retirement system (cont)
A13(cont): would have a provision to grandfather those currently serving; they would fall in the current system.

Q14: Any tips for getting promoted Below the Zone?
A14: The key is to be the very best at your job. To be promoted ahead of your peers, you need to be better than others. (cont)
A14(cont): Your performance must clearly set you apart.

Q15: I’m thinking about joining, but have a young family. Would you still recommend it?
A15: Certainly if your desire is to serve, I’d highly recommend it. Only make this decision if you’ve done so as a family. (cont)
A15(cont): The family serves, not just the one wearing the uniform. There will be challenges that you’ll both face.

Q16: There was a meeting recently with MTI spouses. What about other special duty spouses who face similar issues?
A16: No question we want to meet with all of our spouses & will make ourselves available to do so – just let us know. (cont)
A16(cont): When we visit bases, units, etc., our intent is to be available to spouses as well.

Q17: Are you looking at lowering high year tenure in career fields that are SNCO heavy?
A17: No, we’re not looking at making any changes pertaining to that at this time.

Mrs. Welsh, Mrs. Roy chat about Air Force family, departure

By Othana Montoya
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

We held a tweet chat Tuesday with Mrs. Betty Welsh, wife of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, and Mrs. Paula Roy, wife of the former Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, James A. Roy, to answer questions about the Air Force family and Mrs. Roy’s departure. If you didn’t have a chance to watch the tweet chat, we have the discussion for you here.

Question: What are your goals for the Air Force family this year?
Answer: Mrs. Welsh: My goals are that we take care of them in this time of uncertainty and that we keep our families informed and at the forefront of any decisions that may affect them.

Question: What do you think are the greatest challenges awaiting the AF family for 2013?
Answer: Mrs. Welsh: Clearly understanding what is and is not happening in the budget environment and how it will affect our families. The majority of these cuts will not affect them immediately and the long term impact is difficult to access. Allowing us to examine those impacts and explain them to the families will be important. Keeping them informed and asking them to be patient so we can get them the information they need to be informed.

Mrs. Welsh and Mrs. Roy

Question: What is your opinion on the current job/education availability for AF spouses?  Do you see any big changes coming to these programs?
Answer: Mrs. Welsh: In 2012, the Military Spouse Employment Partnership and Hiring Our Heroes held 15 hiring fairs. Over 6,000 spouses have attended, reaping the benefit of over 30 different career workshops and presentations held by our government and nonprofit Alliance partners. 500 spouses have been hired.

Question: As your time as the CMSAF’s wife comes to a close, what was your greatest accomplishment & what are you most proud of?
Answer: Mrs. Roy: We have really worked hard to focus on families, key spouse, spouse courses, trips/visits, etc. The importance of a military member’s family is something I feel we cannot emphasize enough. Families provide the critical support needed to get the mission done. We probably have a way to go with this, but we definitely tried to put a great deal of focus on this.

Question: What words of wisdom do you wish to leave with our Airmen and families?
Answer: Mrs. Roy: You are amazing, and we are incredibly proud of you. We are in awe of what you accomplish every day. Our time serving as CMSAF has been a tremendous blessing for our whole family and something we will never forget. Continue to do great things because tomorrow’s Air Force will need your dedication and innovation more than ever.

Question: Did you see the female secret service agents protecting our President yesterday? Isn’t that wonderful?
Answer: Mrs. Welsh and Mrs. Roy: We agree it is awesome to see women working in the protective service of the President. They all did an amazing job yesterday!

Question: What are the best/worst parts about your husbands working in such important and public positions?
Answer: Mrs. Welsh and Mrs. Roy: The best part is being with the Airmen and their families. To me there was no worst part. The opportunity is so amazing that it makes up for the long hours and hardships.

Question: Have you started CrossFit yet? We discussed it while visiting RAF Mildenhall.
Answer: Mrs. Welsh: I have not tried CrossFit, but I sent my daughter and she loves it. I’ve decided to stick with yoga and running.

Question: What do you think of the USMC requiring admittance of partners of gay service members at spouse clubs?
Answer: Mrs. Welsh: I would hope when we are talking about any club that supports our military spouses, they would be more inclusive than exclusive. Our Airmen and families deserve all the support we can give them.

Question: The Key Spouse program is a wonderful concept but needs some work AF wide, do you have any suggestions?
Answer: Mrs. Welsh: It’s been an honor and a privilege to champion this program for the last 3.5 yrs. We hope as we continue to work this program that we will meet the needs across the AF of all AF families.

Question:  Does the Air Force put a strain on your relationships or at all put your family on hold?
Answer:  Mrs. Welsh and Mrs. Roy: Yes, like every job does, but we try & focus on the wonderful opportunities meeting people & the exposure to different cultures. You can’t put your family on hold, you have to take care of the family & our AF responsibilities. It’s a constant balance.

Question: If you had to fill out a dream sheet of bases where you wanted to be stationed, what would be your top 5?
Answer: Mrs. Roy: I’ve had the opportunity to spend a lot of time in the Pacific theater… Although I’ve visited Europe, I’ve never lived there, so that is where I’d like to be stationed.
Mrs. Welsh: Anywhere in Texas, we had the opportunity to have a short tour there & loved being so close to family.

Question: How long have your husbands served?
Answer: CMSAF Roy 30.5 years and Gen. Welsh 36.5 years.

Question: What advice would you give to young Airmen with just over a year of service?
Answer: Mrs. Welsh and Mrs. Roy: Be the best Airmen you can, and take advantage of every opportunity you can.  Be the best leader you can.

Question:  What are your goals for the Air Force family this year?
Answer: Mrs. Welsh: My goals are that we take care of them in this time of uncertainty & we keep our families informed and at the forefront of any decisions that may affect them.

Question: What does it mean to you to be a leader?
Answer: Mrs. Welsh and Mrs. Roy: Our AF core values are a wonderful place to start. Integrity, service and excellence.

Question: What are you most looking forward to during your husband’s retirement? What’s next for your family?
Answer: Mrs. Roy: I want to continue to serve Airmen & their families as much as I can.  I will be joining the AFA team as their director of Airman & Family programs.  I look forward to continuing to support the great men & women who serve in our AF & their families.

Question: What advice would you give to a young aspiring woman wanting to join the Airmen?
Answer: Work hard in school and ensure you are mentally and physically ready to join the best team you could ever be a part of.

Closing: Mrs. Welsh: I want to close by thanking Mrs. Roy for her service & all she’s done for Airmen & their families. She’s truly been a team player & I’m thankful it’s not goodbye b/c she’ll always be in our hearts.

Photo: Mrs. Betty Welsh and Mrs. Paula Roy prepare for a tweet chat January 22, 2013.

Keys to Success

by CMSAF James A. Roy
Exclusive for Air Force Live

Over the last three and a half years, many Airmen have asked me for tips to success in the Air Force. As I prepared for retirement, I compiled a list of a few things I think Airmen can do to achieve success.

1. Be great at what you do.
A young Airman’s most important task is to become proficient in his or her primary duty. Work toward being an expert in your field. You have to know your job inside and out to know how it could be done better. As we trade size for quality in our Air Force, we will need innovative subject matter experts more than ever.

2. Take advantage of as many opportunities as you can.
Get outside your comfort zone and learn something new every chance you get. Approach every opportunity with an open mind, and trust the senior NCOs and officers who may see things in you that you don’t see. Apply for special duties, volunteer for leadership roles and seek education opportunities.

3. Be a bold leader.
Define success for the Airmen you supervise. Provide the resources they need and hold them accountable for achieving it. Deliver the required, appropriate feedback, and listen closely to your Airmen when they talk. What do they want? What do they need? How can you help? Tactfully and respectfully stand up for what’s right.

Hard to believe these simple things are the keys to success? It’s true. In the future, our Air Force will rely even more on Airmen to be great at what they do, to take on new challenges, and to accept increased leadership responsibilities.

I know you are up to the challenge.

Thank you for your service.


CMSAF James A. Roy
16th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force

From McKinley’s heritage to Roy’s horizon

Tech. Sgt. Monique Randolph is a public affairs NCO assigned to the Air Force Public Affairs Agency in Arlington, Va. These are her thoughts about the ceremony honoring the retirement of the Air Force’s 15th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Rodney J. McKinley, and the appointment of the 16th CMSAF James Roy. The Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force is the service’s top enlisted leader.

The sun took no prisoners as scores of Airmen—and civilians—filled the stands at the Parade Grounds on Bolling Air Force Base to take part in Air Force history today. The 15th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Rodney J. McKinley bid farewell to his Air Force family, and the 16th CMSAF James Roy greeted his new wingmen during the retirement/appointment ceremony outside the 11th Wing Headquarters Building.

Attending this ceremony was a privilege and honor this NCO does not take lightly. I know many of my peers—during their entire careers—will only see the CMSAF in an official photo that hangs in their office or squadron command section. As much as every senior enlisted leader would love to meet and shake hands with all 425,000-plus enlisted Airmen in the Total Force, it’s simply not possible. So, my being there today to witness the beginning of a new chapter in both these leaders’ lives was truly a blessing.

The Air Force band and Honor Guard kicked off the event, followed by the invocation in which the chaplain used the phrase I “borrowed” for this blog’s title: “from McKinley’s heritage to Roy’s horizon.”  That phrase stuck with me even though I didn’t write it down in any of my notes. While this day marked the end of Chief McKinley’s Air Force career, he leaves a legacy that will continue to better the lives of generations of Airmen to come.

Chief McKinley was appointed CMSAF June 30, 2006, and in that time he led efforts to promote higher education for the enlisted corps and their families, improve quality of life, offer more professional development opportunities for the enlisted force, and he continues to advocate for Airmen wounded in combat. Chief McKinley also remained a strong, steadfast leader and example for all Airmen—officers and enlisted—during the resignations of our top two leaders in 2008. 

Most who have met Chief McKinley will tell you he greets you warmly with a handshake and a smile. Once, I called his office to ask a question, and he answered the phone himself because he’d sent his staff home early. As I fumbled through my introduction, I finally apologized and said, “I’m sorry Chief, I really didn’t expect you to answer.” I could tell he was smiling as he replied, “Yeah, believe it or not, I still know how to answer my own phone.”

Chief McKinley’s career spans more than 30 years in duties ranging from aircraft maintenance to serving as a first sergeant, and then command chief at wing, numbered air force and major command levels. He’s seen the Air Force through major change, and during his speech promised to continue to be a voice for the enlisted after his retirement.

As for Chief Roy, watching him relinquish his old service coat with the command chief star and replace it with a new coat complete with the CMSAF insignia was a moment I’ll not soon forget. He accepted his new post with dignity, humility and grace, knowing America’s Airmen are still engaged in combat and likely considering the great responsibility that comes with that new chevron. 

He could not hide his emotion as he spoke about his wife and children, thanking them for their support over the past 2 ½ decades of service to the Air Force. He also expressed gratitude to his former leadership, and Air Force Secretary Michael Donley and Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz for the opportunity to serve as “Number 16.”

“I am truly humbled and honored to follow Chief McKinley,” Chief Roy said. “The Air Force is a better service for having him as a senior enlisted leader.”


The 15th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Rodney J. McKinley (right), and Chief Master Sgt. James Roy sit side by side at a ceremony honoring both men as Chief McKinley retires after 30 years of service in the Air Force, and Chief Roy is appointed the 16th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force. (US Air Force Photo/Scott Ash)

The 15th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Rodney J. McKinley greets Tech. Sgt. Israel Del Toro, who was wounded in action in Afghanistan in 2005, following the chief’s retirement ceremony June 30 at Bolling Air Force Base, D.C. Chief McKinley served more than 30 years on active duty in the Air Force, and was appointed the Air Force’s top enlisted leader June 30, 2006. (US Air Force Photo/Master Sgt Stan Parker) 

The new Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James Roy speaks during his appointment ceremony June 30 at Bolling Air Force Base, D.C. Chief Roy is the 16th CMSAF, following Chief Master Sgt. Rodney J. McKinley who retired after more than 30 years on active duty in the Air Force. (US Air Force Photo/Master Sgt Stan Parker)

Chief Airey, you will be missed. We thank you and we’ll remember you.

The following is from an Airman who attended the ceremony, Staff Sgt. J.G. Buzanowski.  

Today the Air Force said good-bye to one of its legends. The first Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, Paul Airey, was laid to rest in section 34 of Arlington National Cemetery.

From his grave site, you can see the headstones of fellow Airmen, and towering above them nearby is the Air Force Memorial.  The funeral service was respectful and humbling. There were senior enlisted leaders from all over the world in attendance. There were NCOs who heard Chief Airey speak at Airmen Leadership School. There was an Airman 1st Class, celebrating her fourth month in the Air Force by being at Chief Airey’s funeral.  

Chief Airey.
Chief Airey.

It was inspiring to see so many Airmen gathered in one place so they too could pay tribute to the legendary Chief Airey. Everyone has a story about the man. Our current Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, Chief Rodney McKinley, reflected on studying about Chief Airey while at basic military training waiting in line to eat. As the procession of hundreds of Airmen walked to Chief Airey’s grave site, you could hear so many people sharing their stories. 

I met Chief Airey while at the annual Air Force Sergeants Association conference. He was getting ready to go up for the former CMSAF Panel Discussion. I was but an E-3 at the time and was walking down the hall with two other Airmen 1st Class. Chief Airey saw us and broke away from talking with a couple of other chiefs and came over to us. He introduced himself and asked how we were enjoying the conference. Being a dutiful PA, my camera was around my neck. The chief saw it and said he wanted a picture with my two junior enlisted compatriots and I was to ensure they got a copy of the photo. Naturally, I did just that.

Chief Airey cared so much about junior enlisted Airmen. He’s been a legend for all of us who learned about him while waiting in line to eat, while hearing him speak at a graduation, while wandering the halls at a convention. The 13th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, Jim Finch, called him the “Father of the Enlisted Corps.” There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind the impact he had on us all, and he will truly be missed. 


ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY, Va. -- Close to 500 Airmen gathered to pay tribute to the first Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, Paul Airey, who was laid to rest here May 28. Seven former Chief Master Sergeants of the Air Force joined the current CMSAF, Chief Master Sgt. Rodney McKinley, at the funeral service and grave site service. Chief Airey's marker is located in Section 34 of the cemetery. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Staff Sgt. J.G. Buzanowski)
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY, Va. — Close to 500 Airmen gathered to pay tribute to the first Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, Paul Airey, who was laid to rest here May 28. Seven former Chief Master Sergeants of the Air Force joined the current CMSAF, Chief Master Sgt. Rodney McKinley, at the funeral service and grave site service. Chief Airey’s marker is located in Section 34 of the cemetery. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Staff Sgt. J.G. Buzanowski)