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6th CMSAF offers words of hope to Team Buckley

Chief Master Sgt. William Ward, 460th Space Wing command chief, introduces Retired Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James M. McCoy to Airmen March 26, 2013, at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. McCoy was the sixth CMSAF during a time when the Air Force was facing many similar challenges the Air Force faces today due to sequestration. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Phillip Houk/Released)

Chief Master Sgt. William Ward, 460th Space Wing command chief, introduces Retired Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James M. McCoy to Airmen March 26, 2013, at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. McCoy was the sixth CMSAF during a time when the Air Force was facing many similar challenges the Air Force faces today due to sequestration. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Phillip Houk/Released)

Kathleen McCoy, wife of retired Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James M. McCoy, sits next to Chief Master Sgt. William Ward, 460th Space Wing command chief, at an enlisted call March 26, 2013, at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. McCoy traveled with her husband who has given speeches across the Air Force encouraging Airmen during the difficult times caused by sequestration. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Phillip Houk/Released)

Kathleen McCoy, wife of retired Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James M. McCoy, sits next to Chief Master Sgt. William Ward, 460th Space Wing command chief, at an enlisted call March 26, 2013, at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. McCoy traveled with her husband who has given speeches across the Air Force encouraging Airmen during the difficult times caused by sequestration. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Phillip Houk/Released)

Retired Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James M. McCoy addresses Airmen March 26, 2013, at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. McCoy has visited several bases across the Air Force recently encouraging and motivating Airmen to continue through these hard financial times. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Phillip Houk/Released)

Retired Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James M. McCoy addresses Airmen March 26, 2013, at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. McCoy has visited several bases across the Air Force recently encouraging and motivating Airmen to continue through these hard financial times. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Phillip Houk/Released)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The sixth chief master sergeant of the Air Force paid a visit while he was in Colorado to Team Buckley members who gathered March 26 in the fitness center for an enlisted call.
Chief Master Sgt. William Ward, 460th Space Wing command chief, introduced retired Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James McCoy as a chief that "led in a time when there were challenges in our Air Force -- challenges in our military that kind of represent where we're at today."

McCoy currently resides outside Omaha, Neb. near Offutt Air Force Base, where he routinely gets involved with the base from time to time. McCoy said it's an honor to still be a part of today's Air Force and his opinions are still taken into account as the Air Force keeps their former senior enlisted leaders involved. He then compared current times to when he joined in 1951 during the Korean War era.

During McCoy's career, as a radar operator and instructor, he saw firsthand many drawbacks as are currently being seen with sequestration and cuts.

"Believe me, this isn't the first time we've been through something like this," McCoy said.
He said he can remember downsizing after the Korean War, the Cold War and the Gulf War and this is nothing new.

The former CMSAF said as the Air Force continues to get through some serious cuts, it needs to be cautious as to how much downsizing is being done. Some of those cuts, such as the ones being looked at for professional military education, cause "a great deal of concern," as members need to be well equipped to continue to be successful. He said he felt confident that no major decisions would be made as leadership understands the importance of the enlisted force development and PME.

Something that has been pleasing to him though, is the reversal of tuition assistance. McCoy said it was a hard decision, but due to circumstances it wasn't much of a choice.

"What made me feel so good is when the Congress of the United States stood up and said, 'No. You will not do that. We will find the money,'" McCoy said. "That says an awful lot to me about how the Congress and the American people feel about our military services."

The biggest thing McCoy said he wants service members to understand is that none of the cuts being made are easy. There's a lot of thought which goes into every decision.
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