Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force (Ret.) James McCoy was the sixth Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force – the highest noncommissioned officer (NCO) position in the service. During the Taiwan crisis of August 1958, he was instrumental in establishing and operating the wing command post, which coordinated all Composite Air Strike Force aircraft. He transferred to Headquarters Strategic Air Command (SAC) in June 1967, where he established the SAC NCO Academy and NCO Leadership School programs. In April 1973, McCoy was assigned as chief of the military training branch at Headquarters Pacific Air Force where he revitalized the on-the-job training program. During this assignment in 1974, he was selected as one of the 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Air Force. In 1979, he became the 6th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force. During his tour as CMSAF, the Stripes for Exceptional Performers program was instituted to give incentive and an alternate promotion option to enlisted Airmen.
McCoy retired in 1981. He remains at the forefront of Air Force issues by serving in leadership positions with Air Force professional organizations and speaking to Airmen throughout the Air Force.