By Staff Sgt. Robert Cloys
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
Former Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James McCoy visited the men and women of Schriever Air Force Base Tuesday to share thoughts and answer questions from enlisted members.
“It’s been quite a few years since I’ve been out at Schriever,” said McCoy. “I know it’s a great mission you have and it’s a great opportunity for us to have the chance to spend some time with you and share a few of our thoughts.”
McCoy is the sixth chief master sergeant of the Air Force and served in the position from August 1979 until he retired in November.
“The difference in what goes on today and what went on in my time is tremendous,” said McCoy.
Specifically, he spoke about the transition to a joint environment. Communication between the branches was not common when he was serving as the top enlisted Airman.
“As I look around now and I watch what’s going on in our services and see the opportunity that we have to meet other joint services people, it makes me feel good,” he said.
McCoy also shared different stories with Schriever Airmen about his time in the service and then opened up the floor to questions.
Budget cuts soon became the topic of conversation.
“This is not the first time we’ve gone through tough times,” said McCoy. “We’ve come a long way.”
This time the support that service members have from society is much higher, he said.
“We’ve had difficult times, but we got through it,” said McCoy. “What we have now is a society that has a great admiration [of the military].”
Other topics included leadership, mentorship and focus in a constrained environment.
“I believe in two words as far as success is concerned,” he said. “The two words are opportunity and involvement. Take advantage of every opportunity that comes along. Secondly, stay involved; be involved with the various organizations, be involved with your family.”
Answering another question, McCoy also discussed what he believes is an enduring leadership attribute; mentorship.
“I think all of us have to look at what an opportunity we have to influence each other and how we can be an influence in developing our people who are willing to do what you’re doing here, not just at Schriever, but all throughout the Air Force,” he said.
After his closing statements Chief Master Sgt. Patrick McMahon, 50th Space Wing command chief, thanked McCoy for his visit.
“On behalf of all the men and women here at Team Schriever, I just want to thank you very much, not only for leadership as Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, but your obviously continued service and the value you bring our force,” he said.