Alumni Spotlight: Sergeant Major Henry James III
By Mike Lesczinski, Excelsior Life News Staff
Having served at home and abroad in the U.S. Army, Sergeant Major Henry James III certainly knows the meaning of hard work. He should; it was instilled in him at a young age by his father and grandfather – two successful businessmen who made it on their own.
Each found success without the benefit of a college degree, but in these tough economic times, the newest Henry knew higher education held the best chance to prepare for post-military life and increase his effectiveness as a special agent for the U.S. Army in the Criminal Investigative Command (CID).
Henry earned a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies in 2011 before moving on to Excelsior’s MBA program. Balancing active duty, his responsibilities as military police, and simultaneously completing his graduate work at Excelsior and full-time studies at the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy (USAMA), has not been easy.
But James had set his sights on earning his diploma, and when he commits to something, whether that is an education, military police, or community service, he finishes what he starts.
“When most people were off on vacation, I was studying or investigating crimes, because criminals don’t take holidays,” said James. “Perseverance kept me going and now with my education I can look to the future.”
Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, James is an entrepreneur at heart. He’ll be looking to purchase a restaurant in the El Paso area, with the goal of earning enough money to retire and give back to the community through a food bank for the poor.
James is looking to share his experiences with other soldiers.
“I urge all young soldiers to get their degree, warning them of the dangers of leaving the military unprepared when taking the next step in civilian life,” said James. “I want to give back as much as the Military and Excelsior have given to me.”
At Commencement this past July, James was accompanied by his mother. For a man born on Mother’s Day, the moment took on special significance. He changed duty stations and deployed to Afghanistan in the weeks following the event.