Colonel Jack James, Jr. serves as commander of the 42d Combat Aviation Brigade, Latham, NY. In this capacity, he commands a brigade comprised of five army aviation battalions equipped with AH-64, UH-60, CH-47, and UH-72 helicopters, as well as accompanying aviation, maintenance, and sustainment troops.
His military career began upon graduation from West Point in 1992. He attended the Aviation Officer Basic Course and flight school at Fort Rucker, Ala. where he qualified in the AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter.
Lt. James was then assigned as Executive Officer, Company C, 2nd Aviation Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, Camp Stanley, Korea. He was then assigned to 1st Battalion (Attack), 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii, where he served as Company C “Outlaws” Attack Helicopter Platoon Leader, Battalion Assistant S3 and Battalion S4. During this tour, he deployed to Haiti in support of Operation Uphold Democracy in 1995.
After attending the AH-64 Apache qualification course, Captain James was assigned to 4th Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Ft. Carson, Colo. He served as Squadron Assistant S3 before commanding R Troop “Renegades,” an AH-64 equipped attack helicopter troop. During this tour, he deployed with R Troop to Bosnia-Herzegovina in support of Operation Joint Forge/SFOR-7 in 2000.
In 2002, Captain James joined the New York Army National Guard, serving in several key staff roles including: Battalion S2/3, 642nd Aviation Support Battalion; Executive Officer, 3rd Battalion (Assault), 142nd Aviation Regiment; and Brigade S3. 42d Combat Aviation Brigade. In these roles, he played a key role in the planning and execution of numerous operations and training events including state active duty mobilization in support of JTF Empire Shield, New Horizons-Honduras, Operation Vigilant Guard, the CBRNE Consequence Management Response Force, Army National Guard aviation transformation, and numerous pre-mobilization training events. Col. James also served as the operations officer for New York’s aviation response to Hurricane Katrina in September 2005, coordinating an aviation task force that grew to 28 aircraft and 500 Soldiers from four states, providing relief to citizens of the Gulf Coast region.
In 2011 Lt. Col. James assumed command of the 642d Aviation Support Battalion, Rochester, New York. During his command tenure, Lt. Col. James was responsible for deployment of New York’s F/1-169 GSAB (Air Ambulance) and B/3-126 GSAB to Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom. He led his battalion on State Active Duty in response to Hurricane Sandy in November 2012. In October 2013, Lt. Col James mobilized his battalion and deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The battalion provided aviation maintenance and sustainment to the 42d CAB through August 2014.
Col. James is a 1992 graduate of West Point and a 2003 graduate of New York University, where he earned a Master of Business Administration. He is a Distinguished Graduate of the Army War College, Class of 2015, and several other military schools, including the Air War College, Command & General Staff College, Aviation Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, Combined Arms & Services Staff School and the Electronic Warfare/ Aircraft Survivability Course. He is a Pilot-in-Command in the UH-60 Blackhawk and is rated in the AH-64, AH-1 and UH-1 helicopters, as well as fixed wing aircraft.
Col. James’ awards include the Meritorious Service Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters (OLC), Army Commendation Medal with four OLCs, Army Achievement Medal with OLC, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal with two OLCs, two National Defense Service Medals, two Armed Forces Expeditionary Service Medals, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, two Humanitarian Service Medals, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with M Device and Bronze Hourglass Device, three Overseas Service Ribbons, Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon, and the NATO Medal. He also holds the Master Army Aviator Badge, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, and several state awards.
Col. James is married to the former Lesia Koropey and has three children: Katherine, Juliana, and Nicholas. In his civilian career, he is a Corporate Vice President at the New York Life Insurance Company, New York, NY.
Current as of SEP 20, 2016