Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy, speaks to Airman Leadership School students July 30, 2012, at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. Roy discussed the importance of the transition from Junior Enlisted Airman to Noncommissioned Officer in today's Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jaeda Waffer)
Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy, autographs a picture at the Airman Leadership School July 30, 2012 at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. Chief Roy is visiting Scott AFB to speak to Airmen on leadership values. Roy represents the highest enlisted level of leadership, and as such represents their interests as appropriate to the American public. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jaeda Waffer)
Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy speaks to Airmen from the 126th Air Refueling Wing July 31, 2012 at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. Roy traveled around Scott talking to Airmen about the importance of face-to-face communication. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Tristin English)
by Staff Sgt. Stephenie Wade
375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
8/7/2012 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy visited Team Scott July 30-31 to meet with base Airmen and discuss current Air Force issues.
Chief Roy paused to speak about 21st century Airmen and the training they deserve. He summed it up with, "The future is now."
He visited with numerous Scott Airmen at the wing, Air Mobility Command, Air Force Network Integration Center and 635th Supply Chain Operational Wing, speaking about developing today's Airmen.
"We have got to make sure they have those skills, leadership and communication--these traits are important in a career," Roy said. "As we look at these skills, we know they need the skills for the future, but we also know the future is now. Within this year, we are going to start transformation."
Roy added there are plans to address the average 10-year gap between Airman Leadership School and the NCO Academy.
"What we have found over the past few years is there's a huge gap in our enlisted professional military education," he said. "That time frame is a very important era for Airmen because that's the time in which they find themselves supervising others."
The chief highlighted the new adaptation of enlisted professional military education.
"EPME Next's goal is to provide development at an earlier stage in an Airman's career to better meet the Air Force mission requirements of the future."
While the Air Force is shaping to best meet its mission requirements, he emphasized a commitment to efficiently and effectively utilizing the resources we do have. He also addressed resiliency.
"We have to be careful to not over use that term," Roy said. "We don't want it to be another program; we want it to be a culture.
Roy said resiliency is knowing how to work through a very difficult situation, growing through it, and using the experience to help others.
"We want people to have that ability to work through those difficult situations," he said. "The Air Force has to spend a lot of time and effort on this because people matter--and not just Airmen and service members--but their families as well.
"Families have to be resilient; we have to keep providing those resources so they can be."
Roy encouraged Airmen to maintain a resilient attitude, not only as Airmen but at home with family members as well. He said he believes equipping Airmen with the right coping skills could prevent suicide.
"We need to work through this," he said. "Suicide is a problem because human life matters, that's why we are so concerned about it. The Airmen matter to us, their families matter to us and their lives certainly matter to their families."
Roy also said his outlook on the Air Force is bright.
"Our Airmen today are the most highly skilled, trained, equipped and educated we have ever had in Air Force history," he said. "We are also the most technologically advanced Air Force in world and have got to continue down that path.
"But too often we rely on electronic devices instead of talking face-to-face and engaging in analog communication with people," he said.
"Our service embraces technology and as a society we value technology. We use computers, smartphones, and the Internet daily. We just have to understand that nothing can replace face-to-face interaction when it comes to supervising Airmen," he said. "Not now, and not in the future."