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CMSAF Cody, wife tour Whiteman, visit B-2 total force

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody talks with Citizen Airmen of the 131st Bomb Wing, Missouri Air National Guard during his visit to the wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, March 9, 2014. Accompanied by his wife, retired Chief Master Sgt. Athena Cody, Chief Cody toured total force integrated facilities and operations and conducted all calls with Airmen from the 131st Bomb Wing and the 509th Bomb Wing. The trip coincided with the 131st's March drill weekend and highlighted the 131st's role as the nation's only Air National Guard unit certified to conduct the nuclear mission and to fly and maintain the B-2 Spirit. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Airman Halley Burgess/RELEASED)

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody talks with Citizen Airmen of the 131st Bomb Wing, Missouri Air National Guard during his visit to the wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, March 9, 2014. Accompanied by his wife, retired Chief Master Sgt. Athena Cody, Chief Cody toured total force integrated facilities and operations and conducted all calls with Airmen from the 131st Bomb Wing and the 509th Bomb Wing. The trip coincided with the 131st's March drill weekend and highlighted the 131st's role as the nation's only Air National Guard unit certified to conduct the nuclear mission and to fly and maintain the B-2 Spirit. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Airman Halley Burgess/RELEASED)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo -- Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody and his wife, retired Chief Master Sgt. Athena Cody, visited Total Force Airmen and got a firsthand look at Whiteman's B-2 operations during their recent trip to the base.

The visit coincided with the March drill weekend for the Missouri Air National Guard's 131st Bomb Wing, and highlighted the successful total force integration with the active duty 509th Bomb Wing.

"We're one Air Force and everything that we do as an Air Force, we do together. That's what makes us great," Cody told a group of junior enlisted Airmen at a weekend all call, one of a series of such forums the Air Force's top enlisted leader held while here.

A topic of keen interest to Airmen was proposed changes to the enlisted evaluation system, which Cody has previously discussed on his CHIEFChat program on BlueTube, the Air Force's social media video channel. Highlights of the new system include increased focus on job performance, a move away from numbered ratings, and an enhanced Airman-supervisor feedback program.

"We've been using the new feedback form in our office, just to get a feel for how long it takes, and to see if it's asking the right type of stuff, or if it is generating the right type of discussion," he said. "The feedback is the most important thing here, because that is where you establish their potential, where the opportunity is and what your expectations are."

Cody also addressed the need for force management programs in a fiscally constrained Air Force environment.

"Nobody wants to see Airmen leave our Air Force, because a lot of them are great Airmen who want to do nothing but serve," he said. "They've been supported by great families, and they want this to be what they do in life - and we're going to tell someone they can't.

"It breaks my heart," he continued. "I empathize with them in the most meaningful way you can, but it doesn't change the scenario. Our responsibility to the nation is to take the budget they give us and give them the absolute best military they can have - and in our case the best Air Force they could possibly want."

In addition to all calls, Cody toured Whiteman's flight, maintenance and support operations. He was particularly impressed by the successful integration of the B-2 mission shared by the active duty and guard wings at Whiteman.

"I look at each one of you, and I see a capability - a capability that's proven itself time and time, and time again," Cody told a Citizen Airman audience. "You do everything, every bit as good as every other Airman in the Air Force, because you are every other Airman in the Air Force.

"There is no distinction between airmen within the components, when it comes to how we do our jobs, how we live up to our Air Force standards and how we live up to Air Force Core Values," he said.