Lieutenant General (Ret.) Tom James, Jr., a career Army Officer, retired from active duty in August 2021 after 36 years of active service in leadership positions from platoon through Field Army level. His passion is connecting with people, identifying talent, and building teams that achieve maximum potential. His professional knowledge, skills and attributes have largely been shaped by the extraordinary leaders and the brave Soldiers with whom he served, often in extremely intense situations. His areas of expertise include leadership in complex organizations, cohesive team building, complex problem solving, crisis management and international relations.
Tom holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina; a Master of Military Art and Science from the prestigious U.S. Army School of Advanced Military Studies at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; and a Master of National Security and Strategic Studies from the National Defense University in Washington, D.C..
As a Commander, Tom served at the Battalion and Brigade level in combat in Iraq. His Brigade combat tour was during the “Surge” and the unit he commanded covered five provinces requiring complex coordination with Iraqi Security Forces, the State Department and USAID during intense security situations. At the Division level, he served as the Operations Officer for a Task Force responsible for military operations in Baghdad and on a separate deployment served as the Chief of Staff for a Task Force responsible for Northern Iraq.
Tom commanded a Division at Joint Base Lewis McChord in Washington; supervising the leader development, training and readiness for over 15,000 Soldiers focused on operations and training in the Pacific Theater. He then served as the Operations Officer for United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command, U.S. Forces Korea where he managed a directorate of over 300 U.S., Korean and Multi-National Soldiers responsible for operations, training and exercises for all Military Services supporting the Korean area of responsibility.
In his last assignment Tom commanded First Army at Rock Island, Illinois where he led over 7,500 Soldiers and Civilians spread across the United States and Territories. Responsible for enabling training, leader development, readiness generation and mobilization capability for the Army National Guard and Reserve: over 530,000 Soldiers representing 52% of the Total Army Force.
Tom also has extensive experience with leader development. He served as the Mission Command Center of Excellence director at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas where he had oversight of the Centers for Army Leadership.
Tom and Chelle claim Greenville, S.C. as home where the majority of their Family live. They have been married for over 30 years and they are blessed with three awesome children.