James D. Thurman

James D. Thurman

Thurman in July 2011, during his tenure with U.S. Forces Korea.
Birth name James David Thurman
Born (1953-09-19) September 19, 1953
Gainesville, Texas, U.S.
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1975-2013
Rank General
Commands held United Nations Command
ROK-U.S. Combined Forces Command
U.S. Forces Korea
U.S. Army Forces Command
V Corps
4th Infantry Division
Battles/wars Operation Desert Shield
Operation Desert Storm
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Awards Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Army Distinguished Service Medal (5)

James David Thurman (born September 19, 1953) is a retired United States Army general who served as the Commander of United Nations Command, R.O.K.-U.S. Combined Forces Command, and U.S. Forces Korea from July 14, 2011 until October 2, 2013.[1] He previously served as the 18th Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Command from June 3, 2010 to July 8, 2011. Prior to that, he served as Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3/5/7.[2] He was the former commanding general of United States V Corps in Heidelberg, Germany from January 19, 2007 to August 8, 2007.

Early life and education

Thurman was born on September 19, 1953 in Gainesville, Texas[3] and is a native of Marietta, Oklahoma. He received a Bachelor of Arts in History from East Central University and a Master of Arts in Management from Webster University. Thurman received a Regular Army Commission from the United States Army as a Second Lieutenant in 1975.


Thurman (right) in August 2006, talking to General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Thurman began his career in the 4th Infantry Division serving as Platoon Leader, Executive Officer, and Motor Officer for 6th Battalion, 32d Armor. He has commanded at all levels from Company to Division. After attending the Officer Rotary Wing Aviator Course, he commanded the Aero-Scout Platoon and later became the Operations Officer, A Troop, 1st Squadron, 17th Cavalry, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

From 1981-1982, he attended the Armor Officer Advanced Course, United States Army Armor School, Fort Knox, Kentucky. Upon completion, Thurman attended the AH-64 Aviator Qualification Course, United States Army Aviation Center of Excellence at Fort Rucker, Alabama, and he then served as Executive Officer, 3rd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas.

During 1989-1991, Thurman served as Executive Officer for 1st Battalion, 32d Armor, 1st Cavalry Division and Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Saudi Arabia.

Thurman’s previous assignments also include Commander of 2nd Squadron, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment; 3d Squadron, 4th Cavalry, 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized), United States Army Europe and Seventh Army, Germany; Commander, 2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized), Fort Stewart, Georgia; Commander, Operations Group, United States Army National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California; Assistant to the Chief of Staff for Plans and Policy, Allied Forces Southern Europe, Regional Command South, Italy; Commanding General, National Training Center and Fort Irwin, Fort Irwin, California; Director of Training, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3, United States Army; and Chief, Operations, Coalition Forces Land Component Command, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Camp Doha, Kuwait.

Thurman left Kuwait to become the Director, Army Aviation Task Force, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3, United States Army in Washington, D.C., where he remained until his arrival at Fort Hood as the 4th Infantry commanding general.

Promotion to General

On October 2, 2006, Thurman was nominated for promotion by President George W. Bush for appointment to the rank of Lieutenant General. His receipt of promotion and his third star was January 19, 2007. On December 19, 2006, Thurman took over assignment in Heidelberg, Germany as the commanding general of V Corps along with the U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army. He returned from the Iraq War with the 4th Infantry Division in November 2006 after a second tour. Retirement was held at Fort Hood Texas 22 November 2013, a total of 38 years of service.

Awards and decorations


 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "http://www.vcorps.army.mil/leaders/Biography-ThurmanJamesD_2007-04.pdf".

  1. Sang-ho, Song (2011-07-14). "New USFK chief vows to bolster alliance". The Korean Herald. Retrieved 2011-07-14.
  2. "General Officer Announcements, News Release No. 967-07,". U.S. Department of Defence. August 6, 2007. Retrieved 2008-09-08.
  3. "Nominations before the Senate Armed Services Committee" (PDF). 2011 Congressional Hearings (Senate Armed Services Committee). June 28, 2011. pp. 353 ff. Retrieved 2013-02-05.
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