McCoy awarded lifetime achievement award

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. William A. O’Brien
  • 55th Wing Public Affairs

Former Chief Master Sgt. Of the Air Force James McCoy, was awarded the Air Force Association Lifetime Achievement Award during a ceremony in the Airman Leadership School building named in his honor Dec. 3, 2021.

The sixth Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force said he was quite honored, very pleased and proud to be selected for the honor.

“It means a lot to me because of what the AFA has done,” McCoy said. “A lot of people think it's an officer association. It's not, I’m living proof of that.”

McCoy was the first enlisted president of the AFA and has been a member of the association for more than 50 years. He was presented the award by another former Chief Master Sgt. Of the Air Force Gerald Murray, who is the second enlisted president in AFA history.

“Chief McCoy was president and chairman of the board for the association from 1991 until ’94,” Murray said. “We recognize him for his leadership, not only for his contributions to the association, but from the time he entered the service and has continued throughout his life.”

As an Airman during McCoy’s time as the Air Force’s top enlisted member, Murray said he saw McCoy as a mentor and cherished the wisdom he imparted on him over the years.

“With this award we are recognizing a true hero and mentor of mine personally, but also recognizing the achievement of an individual who has dedicated his life to service,” said Murray. “There is a very strong bond between the current and former Chief Master Sergeants of the Air Force. The bond we have amongst us as a group is an absolutely incredible and special bond. The other side of that with Chief McCoy is to be filling his shoes as the chairman of the AFA is a great honor as well.”

In addition to the award presentation, the two former top enlisted leaders met with the base’s current ALS class for a question and answer session and congratulated the base’s newly announced chief master sergeant selects.

“We're here in the ALS school that's named after Chief McCoy,” said Murray. “He was Senior Enlisted Advisor for Strategic Air Command, that's how he became Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force. The other part of that is this community was so important to him that he settled here after the Air Force and has been a great part in this community.”

According to their website, the AFA is a volunteer-led organization connecting Airmen and Guardians who commit their lives to protecting the greater good of our country.