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AETC Command Chief visits Wilford Hall Medical Center
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO - LACKLAND, Texas -- Senior Airman Cynthia Moreno, 59th Inpatient Operations Group medical technician (left), explains how she trains with mannequins to Chief Master Sgt. James Cody, Air Education and Training Command Chief, at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 12. Chief Cody spoke with 59th Medical Wing Airmen about their roles during his visit and recognized them for the challenges they face on an everyday basis. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Corey Hook)
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AETC bids farewell to senior enlisted leader

Posted 1/7/2013   Updated 1/10/2013 Email story   Print story


by Tech. Sgt. Beth Anschutz
Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs

1/7/2013 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas -- The Air Education and Training Command will bid farewell to its senior enlisted leader as he transitions to the highest enlisted level of Air Force leadership Feb. 1.

Chief Master Sgt. James Cody will take the reigns as the 17th chief master sergeant of the Air Force to provide direction for the enlisted corps and represent their interests, a job he is undoubtedly prepared for after his tenure as the command chief master sergeant of the Air Force's "First Command."

On the cusp of the new chapter in his life, Cody took a moment to look back on his time within AETC.

"Like many Airmen in our Air Force, I'd been exposed to AETC throughout my career, but to be honest, only as a recipient of the recruiting process, training and education," he said. "What you learn when you come into AETC is just how much you don't know about what goes into those three critical aspects of our Air Force."

Cody said he believes Airmen learn new things from every assignment, but that his experience in AETC was unique.

"The amount and complexity of what we do in AETC is much larger than you can fathom without being or having been part of it," he said.

Cody joined the Air Force in 1984 as an air traffic control specialist. Throughout his career, he has filled a myriad of roles to include additional duty first sergeant and directorate superintendent. Prior to his tour in AETC, he served as the command chief master sergeant for 18th Air Force at Scott AFB, Ill.

Cody said learning from challenges is important to the future of the command and the Air Force; the greatest challenge here being to have a good grasp of every aspect in the complex mission of AETC and making a positive impact throughout.

"I've certainly learned a lot, but there is still much more to learn," he said. "Working to keep focus on the mission is why we're here and we can never forget that. The challenge becomes ensuring we are also focusing the necessary resources and time on our most important asset - our people."

The chief's attention to the resiliency of Airmen and its impact on the Air Force's future is evident from his speeches in large settings as well as his one-on-one conversations with Airmen throughout the command.

"Airmen and their families are the foundation of all that we do. If we don't take care of them, everything crumbles. I believe we've worked hard on this and will continue to after my departure," he said. "The resiliency of our Force depends on it. We've faced and continue to face several other challenges and this I know: the AETC team is prepared to do it."

Cody said his advice for the Airmen in AETC is quite simple, "keep doing what you're doing."

"Despite several challenges we've faced over the last two years, some we'd wished never occurred, we are extremely fortunate in our Air Force to have a team of dedicated professionals and their families taking care of business," he said. "We can't afford to have the actions of a very few derail the good you do. Stay focused. Do your best every day and seek opportunities to do so. We can ask no more --take care of each other and your families."

Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., AETC commander, offered words of encouragement and confidence in the chief's future success at a recent event, bidding farewell to the chief and his family.
"I do think that people will look back on this as a very extraordinary time in history," the general said. "I certainly think that the experience the Codys have had here at the Air Education and Training Command is important. If you were to ask me what kind of experience I think the next chief master sergeant of the Air Force should have, a tour here would be very near the top of my list."

As the chief prepares to leave Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, he conveys his thanks to all who have touched his and his family's lives.

"The entire tour here has been memorable for both Athena and me, along with our daughter Danielle, but the most memorable experience for us has been the opportunity to spend time with Airmen and their families. The dedication and commitment displayed by the AETC team is inspiring and simply put, amazing. The 'First Command' impacts every Airman in our Air Force, and by this very nature every family member also. There is no question this is a tremendous responsibility that is not lost on anyone is this command," Cody said.

"We certainly would have liked to spend more time with our Airmen throughout the command. While we were fortunate to visit and spend time with many, we missed some and everyone is important. Please know that," he concluded. "Both Athena and I would like to personally thank all the Airmen and their families of AETC for all they've done, do, and will're all just amazing."

The message of thanks was reflected back to the chief from the Airmen of the Air Education and Training Command, during recent events around the base. All wish the best for him and his family, as he has for them during his time as their command enlisted leader.

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