Maj. Gen. James B. Linder served as the Chief of Staff of U.S. Special Operations Command headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., where he directed a staff of 2,200 personnel responsible for resourcing and supporting U.S. Special Operations Forces in combat and conducting other sensitive operations globally.
Maj. Gen. 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 other positions within special operations, followed by a staff assignment in the Joint Special Operations Command. Maj. Gen. Linder commanded the Support Battalion and then served as Deputy Commanding Officer, 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne).
Upon completion of a Senior Service College Fellowship at the CIA, Maj. Gen. Linder commanded Joint Special Operations Task Force–Philippines, followed by an assignment on the Joint Staff. After serving as the Chief of Staff of U.S. Army Special Operations Command, Maj. Gen. Linder was the Deputy Commanding General–Special Operations Forces, NATO Training Mission–Afghanistan. He then served as the Deputy J3 for U.S. Africa Command before assuming command of Special Operations Command Africa, headquartered at Kelley Barracks near Stuttgart, Germany. He next served as the Commanding General, U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
His most recent assignment before assuming his current duties was as the Commander of Special Operations Joint Task Force – Afghanistan.