James Gilliland is a United States Army Sergeant First Class with 15 years of service in the Infantry. He joined the U. S. Army in March of 1996 and attended basic training and Advanced individual training, Airborne School, and the Ranger Indoctrination Program before being assigned to Aco, 3/75th Ranger Regt. There he served as an indirect fire Infantryman, Forward Observer, Sniper, Sniper Team Leader, Rifle Team Leader, and Squad Leader.
In Oct 01 while assigned to C Co, 3/75 as a Squad Leader, He conducted the first airborne assault in Afghanistan. He would spend two tours in Afghanistan assigned to the Ranger Regt. Gilliland would later teach at the Basic Non-Commissioned Officer Course prior to being assigned to 2nd BN 69th Armor, 3rd Infantry Division also at Fort Benning Ga. There Gilliland would select, train, equip, and deploy a ten man sniper section that would be recognized as the most successful sniper section in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom III by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
While serving in Ramadi Iraq, Gilliland was recognized for engaging an enemy combatant with a M24 SWS at a range of 1250 meters with a single round, setting a record for the 7.62mm NATO cartridge. Gilliland then moved to be a Ranger Instructor at the Mountain phase of the U. S. Army Ranger School. Gilliland then returned to the 3d ID to serve as a Platoon Sergeant for a second tour to Iraq. Gilliland is currently serving in the Soldier Requirements Division, Small Arms Section, Lethality branch at the Maneuver center on Fort Benning Ga.