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Command Sgt. Maj. James “Jay” Coquat, a native of South Texas, enlisted in the Army in 1998 as a Medium Helicopter Repairer (67U). He completed Basic Combat Training at Fort Knox, Kentucky, Advanced Individual Training at Fort Eustis, Virginia, and served his initial assignment at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia, as a phase maintenance mechanic and crew chief with Bravo Company, 159th Aviation Regiment.
In November 2000, he assessed for the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and performed duties as an MH-47E Chinook Crew Chief in the Special Operations Aviation Training Company Flight Training section. In 2002, he proceeded to B Co., 2/160th SOAR (A) and served as an MH-47E/G Crew Chief, Flight Engineer, and Standardization Instructor. His next assignments included B Co., 3/2 GSAB at Camp Humphreys, Korea, from 2007 to 2009, followed by a consecutive overseas tour to B Co., 1/228th Aviation at Soto Cano Airbase, Honduras, from 2009 to 2011. He was a Flight Platoon Sergeant in Korea, Detachment Sergeant in Honduras and Standards Instructor, Master Gunner, and Technical Inspector at both the company and battalion levels in both locations. He returned to 160th SOAR (A) as the Regiment Aviation Maintenance Office NCOIC in 2011 and later, upon activation, became the USASOAC (A) G4, Aviation Maintenance Division sergeant major serving in a number of sustainment roles across the regiment’s Aviation platforms. In 2013, as first sergeant, he led the Echo Company, 160th SOAR (A) activation, the first Special Operations Aviation MQ-1C Gray Eagle Unmanned Aircraft System company, at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. Upon relocation of E Co. to Fort Campbell, and selection for promotion to sergeant major, he transitioned to the role of the Aviation Maintenance Support Office Sergeant Major serving as the Senior Enlisted Aviation Maintenance Advisor to the Commanding General, United States Army Special Operations Aviation Command (Airborne).
Coquat is a combat veteran with numerous deployments in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Inherent Resolve, and other contingency operations.
Coquat’s military education includes: Medium Helicopter Repairer Course; Primary Leadership Development Course; Basic Non-commissioned Officer Course; Senior Leader Course; First Sergeant Course; Joint Special Operations Forces Senior Enlisted Academy; United States Army Sergeants Major Academy; 160th SOAR(A) Enlisted Green Platoon; Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape Course (Level C); Combat Lifesaver Course; Airborne School; Aircrew Standardization Instructors Course; Mobile Retention Training Course; Ground Government Flight Representative Course; and Unmanned Aircraft Systems Leader Course. He holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from Texas A&M University-Commerce; a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration w/Management Specialization from Saint Leo University, Florida; an Associate’s in Aviation Maintenance Management from North Central Institute, Tennessee; and a Federal Aviation Administration Airframe and Power Plant Mechanic Certification.
His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Medal with Numeral 6 and “V” Device, Army Commendation Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Good Conduct Medal (6th Award).
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