Brig Gen Thomas J. James is the Mobilization Assistant to the J5, Director of Strategic Planning and Policy, USINDOPACOM. He advises the Director in USINDOPACOM’s efforts to shape and maintain regional security through strategy, OPLANs and development of diplomatic, economic, and military policies. Prior to his current assignment, he served as the Commander, 201st Air Operations Group, Hawaii Air National Guard, JBPHH, Hawaii, providing mission ready warfighters to the JFACC and the 613th Air Operations Center for full spectrum, multi-domain air-space and cyber power ops. In addition, he served as the Deputy Commander, Joint Task Force – COVID 19. His responsibilities as the Dep JTF/CC included leading 1300 personnel providing civil support to Hawaii including medical testing/mapping, contact tracing, airport screening, food distro, security, airlift missions and logistical support to dispersed JTF forces.
Brig Gen. James entered the Air Force through the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets, ROTC program, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree and Air Force commission. His operational and staff assignments include two tours at the Air Staff - HQ USAF, Pentagon, Washington D.C. and at Headquarters Air Mobility Command, Scott AFB, on the AMC Staff and at the 618th AOC/TACC. His contingency and deployment experience include Somalia, Bosnia and Southwest Asia.
1986 Bachelor of Political Science, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg Va.
1994 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
1996 Master of Aeronautical Science (Summa Cum Laude), Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Fla.
2001 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2001 Master of Military Operational Art & Science, Air Command Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2004 Air War College, by correspondence
2018 Joint and Combined Warfighting School-Hybrid (JCWS-H), Armed Forces Staff College, National Defense University, Norfolk, Va.
2021 National Security Studies Course (NSSC), Syracuse University, Syracuse Ny.
April 1987 – April 1988, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, 54th Flying Training Wing, Reese Air Force Base, Texas
April 1988 – May 1990, T-38 Instructor Pilot, Squadron Scheduler, 52nd FTW, Reese AFB Texas
May 1990 – June 1992, T-38 Instructor Pilot, Wing/Squadron Programmer, 64th Operations Support Squadron, Reese AFB Texas.
June 1992 – August 1994, C-5 Pilot, Wing Plans Officer, 436th Airlift Wing, Dover AFB, Del (Somalia, Kuwait, Bosnia)
August 1994 – September 1996, C-5 Chief SQ Safety, Asst Chief Sq Stan Eval, 436th Airlift Wing, Dover AFB, Del.
September 1996 – September 1998, C-5 System Safety Manager, HQ AMC, Scott AFB, Ill.
September 1998 – August 2000, Regional Operations Director, Strategic Airlift Director, TACC, HQ AMC, Scott AFB, Ill.
August 2000 – June 2001, Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
June 2001 – June 2003, Special Air Missions Pilot, 89 AW, Andrews AFB, Md.
June 2003 – October 2006, Deputy Chief, Concepts & Strategy, A5XS, HQ USAF, Pentagon
October 2006 – December 2007, Dep Div Chief, A3/5 Smart Ops 21st Century, HQ USAF, Pentagon
January 2007 – June 2008, Deputy Division Chief, Plans, A5XX, HQ USAF, Pentagon
June 2008 – August 2012, Civilian Contractor, Consultant, and GS-14, HQ USAF, Pentagon
August 2012 – May 2014, Command and Control, Directorate Chief A4/7, Directorate Chief A3, Deputy Commander, 111 AOG, USAFE, Willow Grove, Pa.
May 2014 – August 2016, Commander, 111th Air Operations Group, Horsham ANG Station, Pa.
August 2016 – December 2020, Commander, 201st Air Operations Group, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii (February 2019 – July 2019, 609th Combined Air Operations Center, Southwest Asia)
April 2020 – December 2020, Deputy Commander, Joint Task Force COVID-19, Hawaii National Guard, Diamond Head, Hawaii.
December 2020 – Present, Mobilization Assistant to the J5, Director of Strategic Planning and Policy, USINDOPACOM, Camp Smith, Hawaii.
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight Hours: More than 2,500
Aircraft Flown: C-5A/B/C, C-20B, C-9C, T-41, T-37, T-38C, UH-1
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Meritorious Service Medal with five oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Organizational Excellence Award
Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
National Defense Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Southwest Asia Service Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Korean Defense Service Medal
1990 Reese AFB Outstanding T-38 Flight Line Instructor of the Year
1992 Reese AFB Instructor Pilot of the Year
1997 HQ AMC/SE, CGO of the Year
2005 HAF/XO Action Officer of the Year, Pentagon
2007 HAF A3/5 Action Officer of the Year, Pentagon
2008 Top Performer Senior Consultant, Accenture National Security Services
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant Nov. 15, 1986
First Lieutenant Nov. 15, 1988
Captain Nov. 15, 1990
Major Jul. 1, 1998
Lieutenant Colonel Feb. 6, 2007
Colonel Dec. 11, 2014
Brigadier General Dec. 16, 2020
(Current as of September 2021)