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CMSAF encourages Airmen on his recent visit to Tinker

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody and his wife Athena visited Tinker Airmen Aug. 1-2. During an Airman's Call, Chief Cody said that although challenges lie ahead, he is confident in the Air Force's ability to maintain its elite status.

"The inability to predict the future creates some challenges, especially when you know that sequestration continues to loom out there," said Chief Cody. "At the end of 2015, we will be the smallest Air Force since we became an Air Force in 1947, but we will still have phenomenal Airmen doing phenomenal work. We will still be the world's greatest Air Force."

While there were many questions throughout the visit, Airmen often asked about the upcoming changes to the Enlisted Evaluation System and promotion criteria.

"The most important thing in all of this is the Airman Comprehensive Assessment," said Chief Cody. "That was the first of many steps we're taking to evolve our system so that job performance is the most important factor when we evaluate and identify Airmen for promotion."

In a Letter to Airmen sent a day before the visit, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and Chief Cody announced several modifications to the EPR process.
"Starting this November, we will use static, or fixed, annual close out dates for each rank tied to regular Air Force promotion eligibility cut-off dates," they wrote in the letter. "The static dates will enable the implementation of the forced distribution and stratification policy and result in better performance-based evaluations."

The letter also announced changes to promotion criteria to ensure performance is the primary factor in promotions, including the draw-down of time-in grade and time-in service points.

"We'll do the necessary analysis every year to ensure there aren't any unintended consequences of the reduction," said Chief Cody, "but the intent is to gradually remove them over the next three years until we remove them completely."

Chief Cody said he was impressed with the Airmen on Tinker, including civilian Airmen. He said Team Tinker is a great example of the Air Force because all of the components are well represented.

"We have our active duty Airmen, our civilian Airmen, our reserve Airmen and guard Airmen, all of which reside here," he said. "It takes all of us to be the world's greatest Air Force; there is no ability for one component alone to do what it is that our nation expects its Air Force to do."

Chief Cody also touched on the topic of sexual assault. Although the Air Force has taken steps to educate and bring awareness to the issue, he said no one should be satisfied until the crime is eradicated completely.

"We have made significant strides when you think about our special victim's council, the fidelity that we are putting behind the training and how we continue to adapt it in meaningful and purposeful ways," he said. "We are not going to allow ourselves to lose sight of the importance of creating an environment built on dignity and respect. We want it to be impossible for this crime to be perpetrated amongst the men and women who serve."