CMSgt. James Cody accepted the responsibility of leading the Air Force’s enlisted force, donning a blue jacket with the eagle, stars, and stripes of the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force during a ceremony at JB Andrews, Md., on Thursday. “Like Chief Roy, Chief Cody’s love of airmen is what leaps off the pages of his record,” said Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh at the Jan. 24 event in introducing Cody to the airmen whom he will shepherd. “Cody delivers the Air Force message with passion and he inspires airmen to take ownership of their work, their professional development, and the environment around them,” added Welsh. He said people describe Cody “as smart, talented, articulate, poised, and it won’t take you long to figure out why they feel that way.” Cody and his wife, retired CMSgt. Athena Cody, are both career air traffic controllers and “will be an incredible addition to our Air Force team,” said Welsh. “This is your Air Force and all of us are now your airmen. Lead us well,” he told Cody, who became the 17th CMSAF. Welsh said that selecting a new CMSAF to replace CMSAF James Roy, who is retiring (see below), was one of the most difficult and important decisions of his tenure. Addressing the force for the first time in his new role, Cody said he “will focus on strengthening relationships, taking care of one another, and holding each other more accountable for measuring up to the high standard demanded of every airman.” (See also Cody Selected as Next Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force.)
The F-35 Joint Program Office has officially announced plans to issue multiple sole-source contracts to Pratt & Whitney to upgrade the fighter’s F135 engine—a widely expected move after Pentagon officials indicated they would do so earlier this year instead of developing an entirely new engine.