Colonel (U.S. Army, Retired) James D. McDonough, Jr. recently joined Headstrong as Executive Director following key assignments in the public, private and nonprofit sectors serving military connected families. Colonel (U.S. Army, Retired) James D. McDonough, Jr. was appointed Director of the New York State Division of Veterans’ Services on April 4th, 2019. Prior to becoming Director, Colonel (U.S. Army, Retired) McDonough served as Managing Director, the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University, where he was responsible for the global deployment of the Institute’s widely recognized programs and services. Jim also served as Chief Executive Officer for Veterans Outreach Center in Rochester, New York, where he led the nation’s oldest continuing serving nonprofit dedicated to the needs of military connected individuals and families. Following his active duty retirement, Colonel (U.S. Army, Retired) McDonough initially served as Director of the New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs, followed by a senior fellowship within the New York State Health Foundation, where he managed the Foundation’s veterans’ initiatives and grantmaking.
Jim was commissioned an Air Defense Artillery Officer upon graduation from Officer Candidate School, Class 1-82 on March 11, 1982. Following graduation, he attended the Air Defense Artillery Officer Basic Course, Improved Hawk Weapons Course and the Air Defense Command and Control Course at Fort Bliss, Texas. He is a graduate of the Army’s Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia. His first assignment was as Platoon Leader, Battery C, 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Fulda, Germany. Following a stint as Brigade Electronic Counter-Counter Measures Training Officer, 10th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, Darmstadt, Germany, he returned to Fort Bliss, Texas, to attend the Air Defense Artillery Officer Advance Course and PATRIOT Weapons Course. Upon graduation he returned to Germany and assumed command of Battery A, 4th Battalion, 3rd Air Defense Artillery, Giessen, Germany, where he commanded for twenty-nine months.
Following command, he was selected to participate in the Army’s Advanced Civil Schooling Program at Indiana State University where he earned an M.A. in Communications. Following graduate school, he was assigned as Strategic Planner in the Office of the Chief of Public Affairs and then Speechwriter to then Secretary of the Army, the Honorable Togo D. West. From 1995-1996 he served as Battalion Operations and later, Executive Officer, for 1st Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Suwon, Republic of Korea. Following Korea, he reported to the Joint Staff, Operations Directorate, for three years. COL McDonough was selected to command the 3rd Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Fort Bliss, Texas, where he commanded from 1999-2001. In 2001 he was selected to attend the United States Army War College, Centennial Class, and Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Following the Army War College, he was assigned to the United States Military Academy, West Point, as Professor of Outreach, the Simon Center for the Professional Military Ethic. In 2003 Jim deployed as G3, Current Operations Officer, 32d Army Air and Missile Defense Command, Camp Doha, Kuwait, for OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM.
Colonel (Retired) McDonough was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Legion of Merit Medal (w/1OLC), Defense Meritorious Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (w/2OLC), Joint Staff Commendation Medal (w/1OLC), Army Commendation Medal (w/5OLC), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medals, the Korean Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal, the Army Service Medal, and Overseas Service Ribbon (w/2OLC). During his service he wore the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge, the Army Staff Identification Badge, and Parachutist Badge.