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Indiana Department of Veterans' Affairs

DVA > Resources > Director of Veteran Affairs Director of Veteran Affairs

 James M. Brown was born February 17, 1949, in Los Angeles, CA. He graduated from Reseda High School in 1967.

In 1969 Jim began his military career in the United States Army. He graduated from the Noncommissioned Officer Academy that same year, later serving as training noncommissioned officer in charge, 7th Infantry Division, Fort Ord, CA. He subsequently served as a squad leader and acting platoon sergeant, Company D, 2nd Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division in the Republic of Vietnam.

Jim joined the Indiana National Guard in 1983 serving as a personnel action specialist, transferring in 1984 to Company C, 1-293rd Infantry serving as a squad leader. He served the next 10 years in the 151st Infantry Detachment, Long Range Surveillance, 38th Infantry Division, as a team leader, operations sergeant and detachment First Sergeant. Later duty assignments included First Sergeant, Company A, 2-293rd Infantry, 38th Infantry Division; First Sergeant, Company A, 1-293rd Infantry Battalion, 76th Separate Infantry Brigade; Command Sergeant Major, 1-293rd Infantry Battalion, 76th Separate Infantry Brigade; and Command Sergeant Major of Task Force “Nightfighter” JRTC in 2000 in Fort Polk, LA.

In June 2000, he was assigned to be the Command Sergeant Major of the 76th Separate Infantry Brigade, and in June 2002, he was assigned as the Command Sergeant Major, 38th Infantry Division. He served as the State Command Sergeant Major for the Indiana National Guard from October 2005 to July 2009. Jim was then selected by the Adjutant General to be the Command Sergeant Major of the Regional Corps Training Team 2, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from July 2009 through December 2010. He returned to serve as the Indiana National Guard State Command Sergeant Major in January 2011 to finish out his military career; retiring on March 1st, 2013.

Jim's awards and decorations include Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with “V” Device with 2 OLC, Purple Heart with OLC, Meritorious Service Medal with 6 OLC, Air Medal with Numeral 2, Army Commendation Medal with 3 OLC, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal with 1 OLC, Good Conduct Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal with 4 OLC, National Defense Service Medal with bronze star, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon with Numeral 4, Army Service Ribbon, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with bronze star, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Indiana Distinguished Service Medal, Indiana Commendation Medal with 2 OLC, Indiana Retention Ribbon, Indiana Long Service Medal, Indiana Volunteer Emblem, Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Unit Citation, Republic of Vietnam Civic Actions Unit Citation, Combat Infantryman Badge, Combat Action Badge, Senior Parachute Badge, Pathfinder Badge, Expert Badge (Rifle), 1985 U.S. Army FORSCOM Fourth Army NCO of the Year.

His affiliations include corporate member Indiana Chapter Association of the United States Army, past chapter president of the National Defense Transportation Association, past president Kiwanis Club of Indianapolis, Airport Co-Chairman NCAA Final Four Transportation Committee and Corporate Member National Guard Association of Indiana.

In his civilian capacity, Jim has 25 years of small business ownership and management of a transportation company. He is married to Cheryl Kimler, and together they have six children and nine grandchildren.

Jim was appointed as Director of Indiana Department of Veterans' Affairs in February 2013 by Governor Mike Pence.