CMSAF Cody kicks off AFDW's Capital Airmen Seminar

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Esther Willett
  • Air Force District of Washington Public Affairs
The Air Force District of Washington's sixth annual Capital Airmen Development Seminar began today with an address by Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody at the General Jacob E. Smart Center.

Thirty participants, including one Air Force spouse, from across the National Capital Region are attending the four-day conference, designed to enhance the development of future Air Force leaders.

"You are amazing people. You do things you won't fully appreciate until you have done it a lifetime," said Cody. "Our Air Force is phenomenal. It is better today than it has ever been in history, and not because we're better people. It's because of all the people who have gone before us. And we'll be better because you're sitting in this room."

Cody responded to Airmen's questions about the new maternity policy, Air Force strategic communication efforts, women in combat, retention and senior leader decision-making processes.

"We are all part of the Profession of Arms. You are not just punching the clock every day," said Cody. "This is a lifestyle; this is a calling. We expect a lot of our Airmen and their families. We are trying to create an environment that attracts people to stay and makes it reasonable for them to stay."

Participants selected to attend this professional development opportunity are highly-motivated Airmen who have consistently demonstrated high levels of performance and leadership, said Mr. Stuart Lemon, lead project officer for Capital Airmen.

The week will include briefings by senior Air Force leaders and tours designed to heighten participants' understanding of Air Force issues and programs, said Lemon.

"It's a great opportunity to look at the strategic picture of our Air Force through our leaders' eyes," said Chief Master Sgt. Manuel Pineiro, AFDW's first sergeant. "Sometimes, we get funneled into our daily tasks, and people forget there is more to what is going on."

Cody challenged participants to take advantage of the time to grapple with the challenges our service faces today.

"Sometimes you struggle with some of these things because you care," said Cody. "We have challenges, people will make mistakes, they won't always perform to the level we thought they could or should; but in the long run, think about who you work with every day and what you guys do. Don't let anybody diminish that."

The seminar will continue through Friday, Feb. 12, and will feature briefings by AFDW Commander Maj. Gen. Darryl Burke, Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower, Personnel and Services, Lt. Gen. Gina Grosso, and the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance, Lt. Gen. Robert Otto.