MajGen James Kessler, USMC (Ret)
MajGen James A. Kessler USMC (Ret)
Executive Board Member
A native of Mountlake Terrace, Washington, MajGen Kessler was commissioned a 2ndLt from The University of Washington in June 1980. Kessler held various command and staff billets in his early career to include 1st Tank Bn, 1stMarDiv where he deployed in support of Desert Shield/Desert Storm. He was selected to serve as the Aide-de-Camp to the Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, GEN John M. Shalikashvili. He was later selected to attend the Industrial College of the Armed Forces (now called the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy), the National Defense University.
MajGen Kessler was selected for and assumed command of H&S Battalion, 3rd FSSG, serving concurrently as the Camp Commander for Camp Kinser, MCB, Okinawa, Japan. While there, he was deployed to Sri Lanka as the Commanding Officer, Marine Logistics Regiment-2, Combat Logistics Group-Sri Lanka, JTF-536, Operation Unified Assistance in support of the tsunami relief effort. He was promoted to Brigadier General in 2006 and immediately reassigned to assume command of 2nd Marine Logistics Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force.
In Jan 2007, he deployed 2ndMLG forward as part of II MEF (forward) and Multi-National Forces-Westin support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. 2ndMLG redeployed home in Feb 2008. In April 2008, he relinquished command of 2ndMLG and assumed duties as Director, Manpower Management Division, M&RA. In June 2009, he assumed command of the Marine Corps Logistics Command (MCLC), Albany, Georgia. In July 2011, he relinquished command of MCLC and was assigned as the Assistant Deputy Commandant, I&L (Facilities). On 1 October 2011, Marine Corps Installations Command (MCICOM) was established, and he became the first Commanding General, MCICOM concurrent with his Assistant Deputy Commandant duties.
MajGen Kessler retired from the Marine Corps in September 2013. Subsequent to his retirement, he was hired by DynCorp International to run the Logistics Civilian Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) in Kandahar, Afghanistan responsible for logistics support to the southern half of the country. After 18 months in-country, he returned home and was hired by Logistics Management Institute (LMI) as the Vice President for Materiel Management Division.
On 1 Oct 2018, he was hired to take over as the President and CEO of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation with offices at the National Museum of the Marine Corps. He retired from MCHF in December of 2020 and established his own private consulting company, JAK Solutions.
MajGen Kessler holds advanced degrees in Military Studies from Marine Corps University, a Master of Science in Systems Management from the University of California, and a Master of Science in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.