Lieutenant Colonel James R. Herd enlisted in the United States Air Force on April 29, 1975. He served on active duty as a Loadmaster on the C-141A/B aircraft until 1981. He left active duty, however, remained in the military while he attended The Ohio State University. He received his BS in Industrial Technology in 1984. He remained in Columbus and taught for the next three years. He returned to The Ohio State University in 1987, graduated and received a Regular Army Commission in the Corps of Engineers through ROTC in 1989 along with receiving his MA in Education. LTC Herd attended Airborne and the Scout Platoon Leader Course in route to his assignment with the 12th Engineer Battalion in Dexheim, Germany. He served as platoon leader, and support platoon leader prior to being deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Upon his return from Iraq, he served as Battalion Maintenance Officer and Assistant Brigade S-1. In June of 1992, LTC Herd was discharged and returned home to Ohio with his family.
He served in the Ohio Army National Guard from 1992 to 2006. He commanded D/216th Engineers, and the Installation Support Battalion at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. He served as Senior Instructor and Operations Officer for 145 Regional Training Institute and as the State Strategic Planner until November 2006 when he transferred to United States Army Corps of Engineers. He served as an Operations Officer for Pacific Ocean Division from 2006 to 2010, when he was deployed to Kuwait as the Deputy Program Director LOGCAP for the Army Sustainment Command. He returned to the USACE in February 2012 and is serving as an Operations Officer with the Contingency Response Unit in Washington DC supporting SOUTHCOM Operations. He is completing his 38th year of military service in April of 2013.
LTC Herd holds a BS and MA from The Ohio State University and received his School Superintendent license at Ashland University in 2003. He served as Superintendent for Fairfield Union Local Schools and Bloom Carroll Local Schools from 2005 – 2013. He was The Ohio State University ROTC Alumni Society President from 2005 – 2008. His significant awards and recognitions are as follows: George C. Marshall Award; State of Ohio Teacher Excellence Award; National Guard Person of the Year; Laureate Citation-Epsilon Phi Tau; Outstanding Leadership and Service Award-Boy Scouts of America; Iron Mike Award-Camp Atterbury, Indiana; Army Community of Excellence-OHARNG National Championship; Bronze Star; Meritorious Service Medal; Army Commendation Medal; Army Achievement Medal; and Ohio and Indiana Commendation medals.
Lieutenant Colonel Herd and Cindy have resided in Lancaster, Ohio since 1992. They have three sons; Logan, currently serving in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Dylan, a junior at West Virginia University and Caleb, a sophomore at Fairfield Union High School.