James A. Adkins

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James A. Adkins
Major General James A. Adkins.jpg
Born 1954
Cambridge, Maryland
Allegiance  Maryland
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service More than 30
Rank Major General

James A. Adkins (born 1954) was appointed the 28th adjutant general of Maryland effective June 1, 2008 and retired on January 20, 2015. As adjutant general, he was responsible for the daily operations of the Maryland Military Department, which includes the Maryland Army National Guard, Maryland Air National Guard, Maryland Emergency Management Agency, and Maryland Defense Force. He was the senior advisor to the governor and was responsible for the readiness, administration, and training of more than 6,700 members of the Maryland Military Department. As the adjutant general, he served as the official channel of communication between the governor and the National Guard Bureau and served as a member of the governor’s cabinet.

Early life

Adkins was born in 1954 in Cambridge, Maryland and grew up in Dorchester County on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Prior to entering the U.S. Army, he served two years with the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office.[citation needed]

Military career

His military career spans nearly 40 years of service in both the enlisted and officer ranks. He has served at nearly every level of command and in various staff assignments. He is a graduate of the Defense Language Institute’s Russian Language Program in Monterey, California, and served in intelligence, infantry, and cavalry assignments in the United States and abroad. His military assignments also include director of military support to civil authorities, counter-drug task force commander, and coordinator of emergency management operations. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, he assisted the Republic of Estonia in its transition to democracy.

Adkins’ military decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, the Maryland Distinguished Service Cross, from the Republic of Estonia the Order of the Cross of the Eagle 2nd Class and the Order of the White Cross.

Adkins served in the Maryland Military Department as chief of staff and assistant adjutant general for state operations. He also served as director of the Cemetery and Memorial Programs and as the deputy secretary of Veterans Affairs. In May 2007, Governor Martin O’Malley appointed General Adkins to his cabinet as the secretary of Veterans Affairs. He served as the state’s key advisor for veteran issues until September 2009. For more than a year and a half, General Adkins simultaneously held two cabinet-level positions in the O’Malley administration and he continues to serve as the adjutant general.

His senior military education includes the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the University of the State of New York[which?] in 1984 with a bachelor of arts in sociology, and from Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland in 1991 with a master’s degree in history.

He is a member of numerous organizations including the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, American Veterans (AMVETS), Vietnam Veterans of America, Military Officers Association of America, U.S. Army War College Alumni Association, 2nd Armored Division Association, 29th Infantry Division Association, National Society Sons of the American Revolution, Society of the War of 1812, and the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association.[citation needed]


  • 1975–1976, Student, Defense Language Institute, Monterey, California
  • 1976–1978, Sergeant, 522nd Combat Electronic Warfare Intelligence Battalion, 2nd Armored Division, Fort Hood, Texas
  • July 1979 – January 1981, Rifle Platoon Leader, Company C, 2nd Battalion 175th Infantry, Queen Anne, Maryland
  • January 1981 – April 1982, Plans and Operations Officer, Combined Arms Center, Headquarters, Maryland Army National Guard, Pikesville, Maryland, attached to 136th Combat Support Hospital, Parkville, Maryland
  • April 1982 – April 1984, S-3 Air, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion 175th Infantry, Baltimore, Maryland
  • April 1984 – April 1987, Assistant S-3, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1st Squadron 158th Cavalry (Recon) Annapolis, Maryland
  • April 1987 – May 1990, S-3, Headquarters, 1st Squadron 158th Cavalry (Recon) Annapolis, Maryland
  • May 1990 – March 1992, Recruiting and Induction Officer, Headquarters, State Area Command, Maryland Army National Guard, Baltimore, Maryland
  • April 1992 – March 1993, Commander, Headquarters, 629th Military Intelligence Battalion, Greenbelt, Maryland
  • March 1993 – January 1994, Counter Narcotics Officer, Headquarters, State Area Command, Maryland Army National Guard, Baltimore, Maryland
  • February 1994 – August 1995, Recruiting and Retention Manager, Headquarters, State Area Command, Maryland Army National Guard, Baltimore, Maryland
  • August 1995 – August 1996, Director Military Support, Headquarters, State Area Command, Maryland Army National Guard, Baltimore, Maryland
  • September 1996 – July 1997, Provost Marshal, Headquarters, State Area Command, Maryland Army National Guard, Baltimore, Maryland
  • August 1997 – June 2008, Retired Reserve, Human Resources Command, St. Louis, Missouri
  • June 2008 – January 2015, The Adjutant General, Joint Force Headquarters, Maryland National Guard, Baltimore, Maryland
  • January 2015 - Retired

Major awards and decorations

Other achievements

See also

A History of the Adjutants General of Maryland


External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Maj. Gen. Bruce F. Tuxill
Adjutant General of Maryland
2008 – 2015
Succeeded by
Maj. Gen. Linda L. Singh