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Command Sgt. Maj. James Finney was born in Boulder, Colorado. He completed one-station unit training as an infantryman at Fort Benning, Georgia, in 1993 and advanced individual training as an air traffic controller at Fort Rucker, Alabama, in 1998.
Finney’s first Aviation assignment was 3rd Battalion, 58th Aviation Regiment, Heidelberg, Germany, as a ground control approach supervisor and facility chief where he also deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia in support of Stabilization Force 5 and 7. He was then assigned to 1st Battalion, 11th Aviation Regiment, Fort Rucker, where he served as an air traffic control supervisor at Cairns Army Airfield. In 2003, Finney was selected as a detailed recruiter where he was assigned to the 6th Recruiting Brigade, Phoenix Recruiting Battalion, Tucson Recruiting Company. Finney was then assigned to the G3/C3 Aviation cell, XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he served as the operations NCOIC and airspace command and control NCOIC. It was during this assignment that Finney was deployed to Iraq for 15 months in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 07-09. Upon redeploying back to Fort Bragg, Finney returned to 1st Battalion, 11th Aviation Regiment where he served as an air traffic control chief and first sergeant. In 2011, Finney was assigned to 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade for five years where he served as a first sergeant and brigade operations sergeant major as well as participating in Operation Enduring Freedom 11-12. Following that assignment, he was stationed in K16, Republic of South Korea, in 2016 where he was a first sergeant in the assault helicopter battalion. It was during this tour where Finney was selected to attend the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy Class 68. Upon graduation in 2018, Finney was assigned to the 3-58th Airfield Operations Battalion where he served as the battalion’s sergeant major.
Finney’s military education includes the completion of all NCOES PME. Additionally, Finney has completed the Joint Air Tactical Order Processors Course, the Joint Firepower Course, the Battle Staff Course, the Master Resilience Training Course, and the Ranger Indoctrination Program.
Notable awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster with Oak Leaf Cluster, Master Air Crewmember Badge, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, multiple foreign military parachutist badges, and the Order of Saint Michael (Bronze Award). Finney holds a Bachelor of Science in aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and is pursuing a Master of Science in defense and strategic studies from the University of Texas at El Paso.
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