Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James M. McCoy was adviser to Secretary of the Air Force Hans Mark and Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Lew Allen Jr. on matters concerning welfare, effective utilization and progress of the enlisted members of the Air Force. He was the sixth chief master sergeant appointed to this ultimate noncommissioned officer position.
Chief McCoy was born in Creston, Iowa, and he graduated from Maur Hill High School, Atchison, Kan., in 1948. He entered the U.S. Air Force in January 1951 after attending St. Benedict's College in Atchison and St. Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa. He received a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Centenary College of Louisiana in 1966. He is an honor graduate of the Second Air Force Noncommissioned Officer Academy and graduated with the first class of the U.S. Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy at Gunter Air Force Station, Ala., in March 1973.
After basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, Chief McCoy served with the Air Defense Command as a radar operator and instructor until 1956. He then returned to Lackland to become an instructor in the basic military training program. In 1957 he transferred to Clark Air Base, Philippines, where he served as the base training noncommissioned officer. During the Taiwan crisis of August 1958 he was instrumental in establishing and operating the wing command post which coordinated all inbound combined Air Strike Force aircraft. In 1959 he was assigned as the assistant commandant of cadets, Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps, Detachment 225, University of Notre Dame, Ind.
Chief McCoy was assigned in 1960 as commandant, Strategic Air Command Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) Preparatory School, 305th Bombardment Wing, Bunker Hill Air Force Base, Ind. Two years later he was selected as an instructor with the Second Air Force NCO Academy at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. He supervised the development of a proposed course of study for noncommissioned officer leadership schools. Prior to the academy's closure in 1966, he had become the academy's sergeant major.
In April 1966 Chief McCoy was assigned as chief, training branch, deputy chief of staff for personnel, Headquarters Second Air Force, where he was responsible for the command's on-the-job training and special training programs. He transferred to Headquarters Strategic Air Command in June 1967 where he was the noncommissioned officer professional military education monitor for the deputy chief of staff, personnel. While there, he established and monitored the SAC Noncommissioned Officer Academy and Noncommissioned Officer Leadership School programs.
In 1970 Chief McCoy transferred to the 41st Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Wing, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, as noncommissioned officer in charge of operations training. He supervised and monitored all training programs for the H-3, H-43, H-53 and HC-130 aircraft crews assigned to wing units throughout the Pacific and Southeast Asia. As an additional duty, he served as senior enlisted adviser to the wing commander.
Chief McCoy was assigned in April 1973 as chief, military training branch; deputy chief of staff, personnel; Headquarters Pacific Air Forces. He revitalized the on-the-job training program and represented the command at several worldwide conferences which helped improve Air Force-wide training programs. During this assignment, he was selected as one of the 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Air Force in 1974.
Returning to the Strategic Air Command in March 1975, Chief McCoy became its first senior enlisted adviser. During this period he served as the personal representative of the commander in chief to the enlisted men and women of the command. In addition to traveling extensively throughout the command, he also served as chairman of two worldwide senior enlisted adviser conferences for the Air Force Association. Their efforts helped identify issues affecting quality of Air Force life. In 1979 he became chief master sergeant of the Air Force and he retired Nov. 1, 1981.
Active in many business and civic organizations he has served on several councils and board of directors within the Omaha, Neb., area and on the national level. He has served two terms as the Air Force Association national president and two terms as its chairman of the board.
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Outstanding Airman of the Year with bronze service star
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
U.S. Air Force Civilian Exceptional Service Medal
U. S. Air Force Recruiting Service America Spirit Award
Air Force Association Presidential and Special Citations, Hoyt S. Vandenberg and Stortz Individual Membership Awards
Boy Scouts of America District Award of Merit, Silver Beaver Award and Silver Antelope Award
PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS AND ASSOCIATIONS
Permanent member, Air Force Association
Board of Directors, Air Force Association
Board of Directors, Airmen Memorial Foundation
Chairman, Air Force Retiree Council
Air Force Sergeants Association
Aerospace Education Foundation
Disabled American Veterans
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, Aug 1, 1979