The next commander of Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s 7th Infantry Division will bring a lot of soldiering experience from Iraq when he arrives in the South Sound this summer.
The Army on Tuesday announced that Maj. Gen. Thomas S. James Jr. will succeed Maj. Gen. Terry Ferrell as the division commander, one of the top handful of Army posts at JBLM.
Ferrell in turn is moving on to U.S. Central Command, where he will be chief of staff for the headquarters that oversees military operations in the Middle East.
James is expected to take command of the 7th Infantry Division before August. He’s coming to JBLM from U.S. Forces Command, the North Carolina headquarters that manages all conventional Army units.
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James served in Iraq during the Gulf War and returned to Iraq on multiple deployments during the Iraq War. James also has held assignments in Germany, at Fort Stewart, Georgia; Fort Hood, Texas; and at the Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
The 7th Infantry Division is one of several prominent headquarters at JBLM that are in line to change commanders this summer. The Air Force’s 62nd Airlift Wing is among them. So is the Army’s 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. The 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division changed its command team in March.
The 7th Infantry Division oversees about 14,000 soldiers in JBLM’s six main Army combat brigades.
Ferrell took command of the division in February 2014. Since then, the division headquarters has added soldiers to prepare for its first deployment to Afghanistan. It will send about 70 soldiers to Kandahar province in the next several weeks.