Brig. Gen. James R. Kriesel is the Deputy Director of Operations for United States Northern Command, headquartered at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. The Directorate of Operations is the principal advisor to the Commander U.S. Northern Command for all operational matters, providing strategic guidance to plan and execute U.S. Northern Command missions within the area of responsibility to include the Arctic; land, maritime, Homeland Defense air operations, Defense Support to Civil Authorities and Theater Security Cooperation.
Brig. Gen. Kriesel is a graduate of the University of Washington and received his commission in 1989 from U.S. Air Force Officer Training School. Brig. Gen. Kriesel is a joint service officer and served in various key operational and staff assignments throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, Middle East and Africa. He is a command pilot with more than 2,600 hours in the A-10 and F-15. He has fought in operations Desert Storm, Provide Comfort, Northern Watch, Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom, Freedom’s Sentinel and Inherent Resolve. Brig. Gen. Kriesel has commanded a Deployed Alert Detachment, Fighter Group, Air National Guard Air Component (multiple Fighter Wings) and Senior Leader of a Combined Joint Task Force Deployed. He contributed to Department of State strategy of China/Russia—Africa Great Power Competition and executed crisis response while disrupting and defeating violent extremist organizations with U.S. Special Operations Command and Joint Special Operations Command partners.
1986 Bachelor of Science, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle
1995 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2002 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2006 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2009 Master of Arts, National Security and Strategic Studies, Naval War College, Newport, R.I.
2011 Joint Task Force Commander qualification, North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, Peterson AFB, Colo.
2012 Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Harvard School of Public Health, National Preparedness Leadership Initiative, Cambridge, Mass.
2013 Dual Status Commander qualification, NORAD and USNORTHCOM, Peterson AFB, Colo.
2013 Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Leadership for the 21st Century, Cambridge, Mass.
2020 Joint Flag Officer Warfighting Course, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
1. February 1989 – April 1990, Student, Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training, Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas
2. May 1990 – July 1990, Student, AT-38 Lead-In Fighter Training, Holloman AFB, N. M.
3. August 1990 – November 1990, Student, A-10 Replacement Training Unit, Davis Monthan AFB, Ariz.
4. December 1990 – January 1993, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Provide Comfort, Assistant Weapons Officer, Electronic Combat Officer, A-10 Flight Lead, 510th Tactical Fighter Squadron, RAF Bentwaters, United Kingdom
5. February 1993 – February 1994, Fighter Liaison Officer to U.S. Army 2nd Infantry Division and Third Republic of Korea Army, Camp Red Cloud Army Installation, Uijombu, South Korea
6. March 1994 – July 1994, Student, F-15 Replacement Training Unit, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
7. August 1994 – September 1997, Operation Southern Watch, F-15 Mission Commander, Alert Force Commander NAS Keflavik Iceland, Chief of Safety, Assistant Chief of Weapons and Tactics, Air Combat Command F-15 Demonstration Team, 59th Fighter Squadron, Eglin AFB, Fla.
8. September 1997 – February 2000, Operation Northern Watch, Flight Commander, Mission Commander, F-15 Instructor Pilot, 12th Fighter Squadron, Kadena Air Base Japan
9. February 2000 – September 2000, Initial Cadre, Flight Commander, F-15 Instructor Pilot, Reserve Associate Langley AFB, Va.
10. October 2000 – January 2002, Reserve Forces Fighter Requirements, Directorate of Operational Requirements, DCS/Air and Space Operations, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
11. February 2002 – February 2004, F-15/F-16/A-10 Combat Forces Operations, NGB/A3, National Guard Bureau, Arlington, Va.
12. October 2002 – December 2002, F-15 Requalification Training, Kingsley Field, Ore.
13. March 2004 – February 2005, Chief F-15 Requirements, NGB/A5, NGB, Arlington, Va.
14. March 2005 – February 2006, Deputy Chief, Combat Forces Requirements, NGB/A5, NGB, Arlington, Va.
15. March 2006 – February 2007, Chief, Special Programs Requirements, NGB/A5, NGB, Arlington, Va.
16. March 2007 – July 2008, Chief, Requirements Integration, NGB/A5, NGB, Arlington, Va.
17. August 2008 – June 2009, Student, Naval War College, Newport, R.I.
18. June 2009 – July 2009, Director of Operations Joint Force Headquarters, Air Component, Salem, Ore.
19. August 2009 – September 2011, Commander, 173rd Operations Group (173rd Fighter Wing), Kingsley Field, Ore.
20. September 2011 – November 2014, Deputy Director J7, Chief, NORAD and U.S. Northern Command Joint Resources and Readiness Division, Joint Training and Exercise Directorate J7, Peterson AFB, Colo.
21. November 2014 – December 2015, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, Chief of Staff, Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa, Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti
22. January 2016 – June 2017, Director A2/A3/A6/A8, Joint Force Headquarters Air Component, Salem, Ore.
23. July 2017 – December 2017, Director, Plans and Programs A5/A8, Joint Force Headquarters Air Component, Salem, Ore.
24. December 2017 – January 2019, Commander, Oregon Air National Guard
(May 2018 – Aug 2018, Deputy Commanding General, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, Deputy Commander 9th Air Expeditionary Task Force Levant, and Director, Coalition Aviation Advisory Training Team Operation Inherent Resolve, Data Masked)
25. January 2019 – February 2020, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, Deputy Commanding General, Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa, Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti
26. March 2020 – present, Deputy Director of Operations, U.S. Northern Command, Peterson AFB, Colo.
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. September 2011 – November 2014, Deputy Director J7, Chief, NORAD and USNORTHCOM Joint Resources and Readiness Division, Joint Training and Exercise Directorate J7, Peterson AFB, Colo., as a colonel
2. November 2014 – December 2015, Chief of Staff, Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa, Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, as a colonel
3. May 2018 – August 2018, Deputy Commanding General – Air, Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, Deputy Commander 9th Air Expeditionary Task Force – Levant, and Director, Coalition Aviation Advisory Training Team – Operation Inherent Resolve, Data Masked, as a brigadier general
4. January 2019 – February 2020, Deputy Commanding General, Combined Joint Task Force—Horn of Africa, Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti as a brigadier general
Rating: command pilot
Flight hours: more than 2,600
Aircraft Flown: T-37, T-38, A-10, F-15 A/B/C/D and F-16D
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with five oak leaf clusters
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal
Joint Meritorious Unit Award with four oak leaf clusters
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with oak leaf cluster
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant Jan. 27, 1989
First Lieutenant Jan. 27, 1991
Captain Jan. 27, 1993
Major Oct. 1, 2000
Lieutenant Colonel Oct. 28, 2004
Colonel June 20, 2009
Brigadier General, December 8, 2017
(Current as of June 2020)