Colonel James W. Welch is a native of Pine Bluff, Arkansas. In 1998 he was commissioned as an Infantry officer from the University of Central Arkansas where he was a Distinguished Military Graduate.
Col. Welch has served in a variety of assignments during his twenty-three year career including overseas duty in South Korea, Iraq, and Afghanistan. From 2000-2001, he served in South Korea as a rifle platoon leader and support platoon leader with the 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment of the 2nd Infantry Division. He then served as a rifle platoon leader and company executive officer in the 1st Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment (Airborne), Joint Readiness Training Center, Fort Polk, Louisiana from 2001-2003.
In 2003, Col. Welch was assigned to the 3rd US Army Headquarters at Fort McPherson, Georgia where he served as a lead intelligence analyst and deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. While deployed he served as a liaison to the Iraqi Prime Minister’s Situation Room in Baghdad, Iraq. Upon returning from Iraq, Welch served as the company commander of the Peachtree City Recruiting Company, Atlanta Recruiting Battalion from 2005-2006. From 2006-2007, he served as the Aide de Camp to the Commanding General of US Army Recruiting Command at Fort Knox, Kentucky.
Following graduate school at Georgia State University, COL Welch returned to Iraq from 2009-2010, where he served as an advisor to the Iraqi Federal Police in Baghdad. He then attended the Air Force Command and Staff College and was subsequently assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division Headquarters where he served as the Division Collection Manager from 2011-2012. He deployed with the headquarters to Kandahar, Afghanistan from 2012-2013. Upon his redeployment from Afghanistan, he served as the Brigade S2 for the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT) of the 3rd Infantry Division, at Fort Benning, Georgia from 2013-2015. Afterwards, Col. Welch served as the Military Intelligence Instructor and Deputy Director for the Command and Tactics Directorate at the Maneuver Center of Excellence, Fort Benning, GA from 2015-2017. From 2017-2018, he served as the Professor of Military Science at the University of Central Arkansas. He returned to duty in US Army Recruiting Command and served as the Commander of the Montgomery Army Recruiting Battalion from 2018-2020.
Col. Welch is a graduate of various military schools, including the Infantry Officer Basic Course, Military Intelligence Officer Advanced Course, Airborne School, and the Army Ranger School. He has earned a Masters of Public Administration from Georgia State University, a Masters of Military Operational Art and Science from the Air Command and Staff College, and a Masters in Strategic Studies from the Army War College.
Col. Welch’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (with one oak leaf cluster), the Meritorious Service Medal (with four oak leaf clusters), the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal (with four oak leaf clusters), and the Army Achievement Medal.