Captain James Kolky
Executive Officer and Assistant Professor of Military Science
Source of Commission:
Northern Michigan University
Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice and History
Biography and Assignment History:
CPT Kolky is from Marquette, MI, he graduated from Marquette Senior High School in June of 1990. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps for a term of 6-years (Jan 1991-Jan 1997); completing the 13-week Marine Recruit Basic Course at MRCD San Diego and the 4-week long Marine Combat Training (MCT) at San Onofre, Camp Pendleton, CA. he attended the 18-week Amphibious Assault Vehicle Crewmember course at Del Mar, Camp Pendleton, CA in October 1991 before joining up with the 3rd Amphibious Assault Battalion, camp Pendleton, CA.
During his service with the Marine Corps, he served as an Amphibious Assault Vehicle operator, Amphibious Assault Vehicle Section Leader, Corporal, and Sergeant of the Guard for Marine Barracks, Japan in Yokosuka and Sasebo Naval Base Ordinance Facilities, and as a Primary Marksmanship Instructor (PMI) for Marine Corps marksmanship training at Camp Hansen, Okinawa. He had deployments to Okinawa, Japan (December 1991-December 1992), Somalia (February 1993-April 1993), Yokosuka and Sasebo Naval Bases, Japan (April 1993-August 1994), and Camp Hansen Okinawa, Japan (May 1995-November 1995). He attended various schools while in the Marine Corps to include: the 8-week Marine Security Forces School at Treasure Island, CA; 4-week SERE course at North Island and Warner Springs, CA; the 8-week Marine Corps Sergeant’s Course at El Toro, CA; and the 4-week MOS producing Range Coach’s Primary Marksmanship Instructor Course at Camp Hansen, Okinawa.
After completing his 6-year enlistment in the Marine Corps, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve in January 1997 to continue his service in the military and attend Northern Michigan University, majoring in Criminal Justice and History. During this time, he attended the 12C Engineer MOS Course at Devil’s Lake ND, BNCOC Phase I and Phase II courses at Fort McCoy, WI and Devil’s Lake, ND respectively, and the 6-week Retention and Transition Course at Fort McCoy, WI.
After graduation from Northern Michigan University in May of 2001, he was nominated to represent the 88th Regional Readiness Command Retention and Transition NCO of the year and to travel to Washington D.C. to compete for the top position for the Army Reserve. In November of 2001, he competed against 13 Retention and Transition NCOs from across the United States and appeared before a 6-member board represented by Sergeant Major of the Army and the Office of the Chief Army Reserve (OCAR) in Washington D.C. SSG Kolky won the competition to represent the OCAR Retention and Transition NCO of the year for the Army Reserve from November 2001-November 2002and was promoted to SFC in October 2002.
SFC Kolky then enrolled in the Active Guard and Reserve Program assigning him to the 88th Regional Readiness Command at Fort Snelling, MN, where he was responsible for the Upper Michigan and Northern Wisconsin Army Reserve units Staff Assisted Visits (SAV) retention and transition programs, placement of Active Army veterans into the Army Reserve for Michigan and Wisconsin. The execution of the Sergeants Major of the Army operation Smart referral program, and became an area representative for the 88th Regional readiness Command Army veteran benefits program and Army Reserve opportunities program from March 2002-May 2004.
During this time, he enrolled in 2003 for his master’s in Education with emphasis in School Guidance Counseling at Northern Michigan University and the Army ROTC program. He attended and completed LDAC at Fort Lewis, WA in July-August 2004 and completed the Army ROTC program in May 2005.
After completing Army ROTC, he attended the Chemical Officer Basic Course (Branch Detail Program) at Fort Leonard Wood, MO. Upon completion of this course in October 2005, he was assigned to the 2-16IN (TF Ranger), 4th IBCT, Fort Riley, KS to be their Battalion Chemical Officer and Battalion Battle Captain for the upcoming deployment for the Iraq surge. He deployed to Iraq from February 2007 to April 2008, attached to 2nd IBCT “Strike Brigade” 2nd infantry Division in Eastern Baghdad at FOB Rustamiyah with 3 assigned Combat Outposts and 2 functioning Joint Security Stations, and 1 Iraqi Police Station. During this time, 1LT Kolky supervised the execution of 300 missions and the capture of 120 High value Targets from various Iraqi militias in theater. Upon completion of his deployment and his branch detail program in the spring of 2008, he requested to attend his primary Branch MI Captain’s Career Course from September 2008 to February 2009. After graduating from MI Captain’s Career Course, he was assigned to 1st Air Cavalry Brigade as an Assistant Brigade S2 and deployed to Iraq from July 2009 to May 2010 being the technical advisor to the Brigade S2, brigade Commander, and 1st Calvary Division in Baghdad and Al-Anbar provinces. After the deployment of 2009-2010, CPT Kolky returned to Fort Hood TX to become the Brigade S2 Intelligence Officer for 1st Air Cavalry Brigade to prepare them for their deployment to RC-North in Afghanistan beginning in May 2011. CPT Kolky assisted the Brigade S3 for their train-up at Fort Carson, CO, in the fall of 2010 to execute High Altitude Mountainous Environment Training (HAMET) for all of the Brigade Pilots. Following this train-up, CPT Kolky was able to attend the Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) Course at Fort Huachuca for a 6-week course to be able to operate assigned SIGINT equipment from a helicopter platform.
While attending school in December 2010, he applied for a an opening Company Commander position with the 504th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade (BFSB) for their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan and was selected among 10 officers to apply to take control of B Company, 303rd Military intelligence Battalion in the fall of 2011. CPT Kolky left his Brigade S2 position 1st Air Cavalry Brigade in April 2011.
In June 2011, CPT Kolky deployed to Afghanistan with 303rd Military Intelligence Battalion to Bagram Airbase. He established the Battalion TOC and coordination with 1st Calvary Division and 5 brigade Operation Sections for RC East. By September 2011, he prepared to take over B Company Soldiers encompassing 23 different teams spread out over 11 different locations of logar, Ghanzi, and Wardak provinces, executing multi-discipline intelligence operations with Special Operation Forces and three different Brigade High Value targets and removing 20 very large caches providing lethal aid and financial funding to the insurgents during his Company Commander time in Afghanistan.
CPT Kolky returned to Fort Hood, TX in May 2012 from 11 months deployed to Afghanistan awaiting orders for his next assignment from Human Resources Command. He inquired about a possible opening at Northern Michigan University, so he could teach, coach, and mentor future Army Officers from his experience. He was notified by HRC in late October of his assignment to his alma Mater.
CPT Kolky’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal (4 OLC), Army Achievement Medal (2 OLC), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Gold Star (2nd Award), Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, Army Reserve Achievement Components Medal, National Defense Service Ribbon (1 bronze star), Afghanistan Campaign Medal (2x Campaign Stars), Iraq Campaign Medal (2x Campaign Stars), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon with numeral 2, ISAF NATO Medal, Over Seas Service Ribbon with numeral 3, Army Service Ribbon, Navy Marine Corps Sea Service Deployment with 2 Bronze stars, Navy Marine Corps Overseas ribbon, Valorous Unit Citation Award (2007-2008), and a Meritorious Unit Citation (2009-2010).