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Joint Task Force-Space Defense

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Joint Task Force-Space Defense Commander, U.S. Space Command

Maj. Gen. Thomas L. James serves as the Commander for Joint Task Force-Space Defense at Schriever Space Force Base, Colorado.

Prior to the transition to JTF-SD, he served as U.S. Space Command director of operations. Previous assignments include Commander, Operations, Plans and Exercises, Joint Force Space Component Command and Deputy Commander, Joint Functional Component Command for Space and the Director of Space Policy Implementation, Office of the Under Secretary for Policy, Office of the Secretary of Defense.

MG James enlisted in the Mississippi National Guard serving in medical and Special Forces units. He was commissioned through ROTC while obtaining a Bachelor of Science Degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Southern Mississippi, and entered active duty as a U.S. Army aviator.

MG James’ assignments include team medic, then team Executive Officer, A Company, 2nd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Camp Shelby, Miss.; Battalion Liaison Officer, Aeroscout Platoon Leader, Assistant Battalion S-3, Battalion S-1 and S-2, 2-227th Attack Helicopter Battalion (AH-64), 4th Aviation Brigade, 3rd Armored Division, Federal Republic of Germany (served in Operation Desert Storm); attack/assault helicopter Platoon Leader, Company Executive Officer, and Liaison Officer, 1st Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), Fort Campbell, Ky.; assault Company Commander, B Company (UH-60), 2nd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 4th Aviation Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, Republic of Korea.

MG James’ assignments since becoming an Army Space Operations Officer include Corps Plans Officer and Space and Information Operations Officer, Headquarters, III Corps, Fort Hood, Texas; Space and Information Operations Officer, Combined Joint Task Force-180 (XVIII Airborne Corps), Bagram, Afghanistan; Space Operations Officer, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force – Bagram, Afghanistan; Future Operations Planner and Space and Information Operations Officer, Combined Joint Task Force – 7 (III Armored Corps), Baghdad, Iraq; Chief, Space Capabilities Branch, Directorate of Combat Developments, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.; Deputy Director of Space Forces, Central Command Combined Air Operations Center (Arabian Gulf); Army Liaison Element, National Security Space Institute, Colorado Springs, Colo.; Commander, 1st Space Battalion, 1st Space Brigade, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.; Chief of Space, Third Army/Army Central, Camp Arifjan, Kuwait /Shaw Air Force Base, S. Car; Deputy Director of USASMDC/ARSTRAT’s Future Warfare Center, Redstone Arsenal, Ala.; and Commander, 1st Space Brigade, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.

His military education includes the U.S. Army Aviation Officer Basic and Advanced Courses; a Master Degree in Military Operational Art and Science from the U.S. Air Force Air Command and Staff College; a Master Degree in Airpower Art and Science from the U.S. Air Force School of Advanced Air and Space Studies; a Master Degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Air Force Air, Space and Cyber War College; and various Army and Air Force advanced space courses. Additionally, he holds a Master of International Relations degree from Auburn University at Montgomery and completed the Harvard Senior Executive Fellowship Program.

MG James’ awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit (oak leaf cluster), Bronze Star (oak leaf cluster), Meritorious Service Medal (three oak leaf clusters), Army Commendation Medal (silver oak leaf cluster and two bronze oak leaf clusters), Air Medal (second award), Joint Achievement Medal (oak leaf cluster), Army Achievement Medal, Southwest Asia Campaign Medal (three stars), Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal (three stars), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Saudi Arabia-Kuwait Liberation Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal, and Joint Meritorious Unit Award (three oak leaf clusters). He has earned the Army Master Space Badge, the Army Senior Aviator Badge, Ranger Tab, Parachutists Wings and Air Assault Wings.

(Current as of August 2021)