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Col James D. Mitchell - 173rd Mission Support Group Commander


Colonel Mitchell entered military service after being ccommissioned as a Second Lieutenant (2LT) in the Army on 6 June 1993 through the Army ROTC program graduating as a Distinguished Military Graduate with a BS in Biology from Northwest Nazarene College in Nampa, ID. From there 2LT Mitchell was sent to Ft. Bliss, TX where he completed the Tactical Air Defense Officer Basic and Track Courses. He was then selected for and graduated from the Army’s Airborne and Ranger Courses at Ft. Benning, GA in 1994. His first unit assignment was with the 2nd Infantry Division stationed in South Korea where he led a 25 person Bradley Stinger Fighting Vehicle Platoon in support of an Armor/Infantry Battalion Task Force. Under his leadership, the platoon achieved Top Gun honors during two live fire gunneries as well as earning the title of 1 of 12 Division Distinguished Platoons chosen by the Commanding General. After volunteering to extend for a second year in Korea, now 1LT Mitchell, was selected to serve as an Aide-de-Camp for the Assistant Division Commander, Brigadier General Warren Edwards. Following Korea, he was selected as the single Air Defense Officer Representative per class to attend the Infantry Officer’s Advanced Course in Ft. Benning, GA. After the Advanced Course, he was promoted to Captain and attended the Combined Arms Staff and Service School at Fort Leavenworth, KS en route to his next assignment in Germany with the 1st Infantry Division (1ID). His first assignment with 1ID was as a Battalion Training and Plans Officer. In this capacity he developed and ran the Battalion’s first ever Platoon alert and tactical readiness evaluation program. He also planned and executed the Battalion’s first ever tactical scenario ground and stinger live fire exercise incorporating helicopter air mobile operations. Following his time on Battalion Staff, CPT Mitchell was selected to command a 131 person Avenger/Stinger Battery in support of 1ID. While in command, CPT Mitchell was assigned to deploy as a Security Commander for a 180 person Task Force into the Balkans. This Task Force secured key terrain along the Kosovo Macedonia border in preparation for follow on operations during OPERATION ALLIED FORCE that transitioned into the Camp Able Sentry KFOR mission. After command, CPT Mitchell transitioned out of active duty and into the Oregon Army Guard where he was assigned to JFHQ as an operations and plans officer for the State Operations Officer (G3). After 9/11 CPT Mitchell was asked to mobilize as part of the joint Air Force/Army US air base security mission under operation NOBLE EAGLE. It was during this mission that he was promoted to Major and was recruited by the Oregon Air Guard to cross over in support of standing up the new Combat Operations Group (COG). Maj Mitchell worked operations and training for the COG then was selected to stand in as the 272 Combat Communications Squadron Detachment Commander. During his time with the 272, he was solicited by the Oregon Army Guard’s 41st Brigade to cross back over to the Army to oversee the casualty notification and honors program and serve as the Brigade S1 in support of the 41st‘s deployment into Afghanistan. Following his time with the 41st Brigade, he was brought back over to the Oregon Air Guard where he served in the State Joint Emergency Operation Center as an operations and plans officer. He was then selected to attend Air Battle Management training at Tyndall Air Force Base, FL and subsequently assigned to the 116th Air Control Squadron (ACS). While at Tyndall he was assigned as Class Leader and received the YUKLA award for being the student who best exhibited the Air Force Core Values on and off duty. After Tyndall, he was assigned as the Detachment Commander in support of the 116th’s 2011 deployment into the Persian Gulf. After that, Major Mitchell was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and selected to command the 116th ACS. During his command, Lt Col Mitchell also served as the Deputy Commander for the COG and deployed with the 116th in support of combat operation in SW Asia as the Deputy Commander for the 727 EACS. In March of 2016 he was assigned as the Counter Drug Coordinator (CDC) for the state of Oregon and promoted to Colonel. In February 2018, in addition to being the CDC, Colonel Mitchell was selected to serve as the commander of the 173rd FW Mission Support Group.


1993 – Bachelor of Science in Biology, Northwest Nazarene College

1994 – Army Tactical Air Defense Basic and Track Course, Ft Bliss, TX

1994 – Army Airborne Course, Ft Benning, GA

1994 – Army Ranger Course, Ft Benning, GA

1996 – Battalion Motor Officer’s Course, Ft Knox, KY

1996 – Bradley Fighting Vehicle Commander’s Course, Ft Benning, GA

1996 – Infantry Officer Advanced Course, Ft Benning, GA

1997 – Combined Arms Staff and Service School, Ft Knox, KY

2010 – Air Command and Staff College (Correspondence)

2010 – Undergraduate Air Battle Manager Training, Tyndall AFB



1. January 1994 – July 1995, Platoon Leader, 2ID S. Korea, Army Active Duty

2. July 1995 – August 1996, Aide de Camp for Assistant Division Commander, 2ID, S. Korea, Army Active Duty

3. May 1997 – December 1998, Battalion Plans and Training Officer, 4/3 ADA, 1ID, Germany, Army Active Duty

4. December 1998 – June 2000, Commander, D Battery 4/3 ADA, 1ID, Germany, Army Active Duty

5. May 1999 – October 1999, Security TF Commander, KFOR/1 ID, Camp Able Sentry, Macedonia

6. August 2000 – May 2002, Operations (G3) Plans and Training Resource Officer, JFHQ ORARNG

7. June 2002 – January 2003, Supply Officer, Regional Training Institute, ORARNG

8. January 2003 – May 2004 Army Liaison Officer for Air Base Security Mission, Title 10, ONE

9. May 2004 – March 2006, Operations Officer for Combat Operations Group, ORARNG & ORANG

10. March 2006- July 2007, Brigade Personnel Officer (S-1), 41st IBCT, ORARNG

11. December 2008 – July 2009, Emergency Operations Center Operations and Plans Officer, ORANG

12. September 2009 – June 2010, Student, UABMT, Tyndall AFB

13. July 2010 – October 2011, Detachment Commander and ADO, 116 Air Control Squadron, ORANG

14. October 2011 – March 2016, Commander, 116 Air Control Squadron, ORANG

15. March 2016- Present, Counter Drug Coordinator, ORNG



Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters

Army Achievement Medal (2nd Award)

National Defense Service Medal with bronze star

Kosovo Campaign Medal with two bronze stars

Army Service Ribbon

Overseas Service Ribbon (w/Num 2)

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

Armed Forces Reserve Medal (w/M-device)

Army Airborne Wings

Army Range Tab

Expert Infantry Badge


Second Lieutenant, June 1993

First Lieutenant, May 1995

Captain, May 1997

Major, April 2004

Lieutenant Colonel, Oct. 2011

Colonel, June 2016

(Current as of 7 January 2018)