Principled, Wide-Ranging Leadership: Observations From Three Decades In The Army

Jim Wood


Jim had a versatile childhood, growing up in New Jersey, Connecticut, France, and Pennsylvania. In 1961, he graduated from Valley Forge Military Academy in Wayne, Pennsylvania and joined the USMA Class of ’65, where he succeeded in “flying under the radar.” He had a remarkable career in the Army. Starting with Airborne and Ranger School, the new Lieutenant embarked on a career focused on leading and training soldiers for combat. Whenever possible he chose assignments with troop units, successfully avoiding service at the Pentagon. He commanded platoon- to brigade-sized units, and was an S-3, G-3, J-3, XO or Chief of Staff for most of his non-command assignments. A Master Parachutist, Jim became HALO qualified at age 45 to lead the JSOC Assault Command Post. Upon retirement from the military, he held several executive jobs. During the interview, Jim recounts his myriad leadership experiences during combat, training assignments, and strategic operations.


name Jim Wood
institution USMA
graduation year 1965
service Infantry
unit 101st ABN; 173rd ABN BDE (RVN), 7th SFG; 1ID (RVN); 193rd BDE (Panama); 2ID (Korea); JSOC; 6ID
specialty Light Infantry- Operations Officer (S-3, G-3, J-3)-Special Operations
service dates 1965 1994