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.