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Brigadier General James B. Wellons

Deputy Commander, United States Forces Japan

Brigadier General James B. Wellons grew up in Victoria, Virginia, and graduated from the United States Naval Academy in May of 1992, earning his commission as a Second Lieutenant. He completed The Basic School at Quantico, Virginia, graduating in March of 1993.

After completion of flight training at NAS Meridian, Mississippi, in 1995, BGen Wellons received his designation as a naval aviator. He then reported to VMAT-303 in Cherry Point, North Carolina, where he completed AV-8B Harrier training and subsequently reported to VMA-231. During that time, BGen Wellons deployed with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Units to the European theater and served as an AV-8B instructor pilot at VMAT-203. He then returned to VMA-231 and again deployed with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit to the European theater and Iraq.Additionally, BGen Wellons served a tour as an instructor at Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One (MAWTS-1) at MCAS Yuma, Arizona.

From 2010 – 2012 BGen Wellons commanded the first USMC F-35B squadron at Eglin AFB, Florida, and then served as MAWTS-1 Commanding Officer from 2016-2018 at MCAS Yuma, Arizona. His staff assignments include tours as lead planner for U.S. Marine Forces Central Command and Branch Head for Aviation Programs and Weapons at Headquarters Marine Corps. He served his joint tour as the Executive Officer for the Combatant Commander U.S. Southern Command in Doral, Florida.

His General Officer duties to date include a posting as Assistant Wing Commander for First Marine Aircraft Wing in Okinawa, Japan, and his current
assignment as Deputy Commander, United States Forces Japan.

Brigadier General Wellons is a graduate of the Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course (WTI). He attended the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies
(SAASS), the U.S. Naval War College, and the Advanced Management Program (AMP) at Harvard Business School. He holds Master’s Degrees from the Air University
and the U.S. Naval War College, where he graduated with highest distinction.


Brigadier General Wellons has held qualifications in the AV-8B, F-35B, F-5E/F, and F-16C/D. His decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, two
Legion of Merit Medals, three Meritorious Service Medals, Air Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and various unit and campaign awards.