Retired July 1, 2004.
Brig. Gen. James M. Shamess is Director of Security Forces, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. He is the focal point for force protection within the Air Force and is responsible for planning and programming the security for 30,000 active-duty and Reserve component security forces at locations worldwide. He provides policy and oversight for protecting Air Force installations from terrorism, criminal acts, sabotage and acts of war, and ensures security forces are trained, equipped and ready to support contingency and exercise plans.
The general graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1974 and began his career as an operations officer for a security police squadron at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. In earlier assignments, he served as a shift supervisor and branch chief, then as Chief of the Plans Branch for Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, where he was responsible for wartime plans and policy, including the initial planning for deploying ground-launched cruise missile systems to Europe.
The general also served as Chief of Programming and Budgeting for the Air Force Office of Security Police where he coordinated the programming of objective memorandum initiatives. He subsequently commanded the 37th Training Group at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, a large technical operation that trains approximately 36,000 people annually. Later, he was assigned as Vice Commander of the Security Forces Center, including the newly formed 820th Security Forces Group and the Force Protection Battlelab. Prior to assuming his current position, he directed the security forces for Air Force Space Command, the Air Force's largest nuclear command.
1974 Bachelor of Science degree in history, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
1978 Master of Science degree in management, Troy State University
1979 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
1984 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence
1986 Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va.
1992 Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa.
1. July 1974 - January 1977, operations officer and Chief, Operations Branch, 6551st Security Police Squadron, Patrick AFB, Fla.
2. February 1977 - July 1979, security police shift supervisor, operations staff officer, officer in charge, later Chief, Plans and Programs Branch, 81st Security Police Squadron, Royal Air Force Bentwaters and Royal Air Force Woodbridge, England
3. July 1979 - July 1982, Chief, Plans Branch, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Ramstein Air Base, West Germany
4. July 1982 - July 1985, security police staff officer, later, Chief of Programming and Budgeting, Air Force Office of Security Police, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
5. July 1985 - February 1986, student, Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va.
6. February 1986 - July 1988, Commander and Chief of Security Police, 375th Security Police Squadron, Scott AFB, Ill.
7. July 1988 - July 1991, Chief of Wartime Plans and Information Security, Headquarters U.S. European Command, J-1, Patch Barracks, Stuttgart, Germany
8. July 1991 - June 1992, student, Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa.
9. June 1992 - June 1994, Commander, 3201st, 646th and 96th security police squadrons, Eglin AFB, Fla.
10. July 1994 - November 1995, Chief, Air Base Defense Integration, Directorate of Security Police, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
11. November 1995 - July 1996, Director of Security Police, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Hickam AFB, Hawaii
12. July 1996 - July 1998, Commander, 37th Training Group, Lackland AFB, Texas
13. July 1998 - July 1999, Vice Commander, Headquarters Air Force Security Forces Center, Lackland AFB, Texas
14. July 1999 - February 2000, Security Forces Director, Headquarters Air Forces Space Command, Peterson AFB, Colo.
15. March 2000 - December 2001, Director of Security Forces, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., and Commander, Air Force Security Forces Center, Lackland AFB, Texas
16. December 2001 - present, Director of Security Forces, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with five oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant June 5, 1974
First Lieutenant June 5, 1976
Captain June 5, 1978
Major May 1, 1985
Lieutenant Colonel June 1, 1989
Colonel Jan. 1, 1995
Brigadier General April 1, 2001