Major General James B. Linder was born in South Carolina and received a Regular Army commission in the Field Artillery upon graduation from Clemson University in 1983.
He served in a variety of troop and staff assignments in the 82nd Airborne Division, 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment (Airborne) and 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne). He also served in multiple positions within Special Operations, followed by a staff assignment in the Joint Special Operations Command. Major General Linder commanded the Support Battalion and served as Deputy Commanding Officer in the 1st Special Warfare Training Group. Upon completion of a Senior Service College Fellowship at the Central Intelligence Agency, Major General Linder commanded the Joint Special Operations Task Force – Philippines, followed by an assignment at the Joint Staff. After serving as the Chief of Staff of the United States Army Special Operations Command, Major General Linder was the Deputy Commanding General – Special Operations Forces, NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan; and his most recent assignment was the Deputy J3 for United States Africa Command.
His military qualifications include Master Parachutist, Military Free Fall Master Parachutist, Special Forces Combat Diver Supervisor, Ranger and Special Forces. He is a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College, the Naval War College and holds Master’s Degrees in International Relations and in National Security and Strategic Studies from Webster University and the U.S. Naval War College respectively.