SFA’s Chair of Military Science Department and Senior Officer in Charge of ROTC James Attaway was officially promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel on May 8 of this year.
James Attaway III grew up in Quitman, Texas as the son of an attorney and an English teacher. He enlisted into the Army in 1998 at 21 years old after trying out community college and struggling to stay motivated.
“I was a rambunctious kid and knew I needed to do something to mature a little bit,” Attaway said.
He was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. His military career has since taken him all over the world to Kosovo, Iraq, Korea and Afghanistan. Once in Texas, Attaway attended SFA in 2001 and joined the ROTC when a friend recommended the program to him. After watching the attack on the Twin Towers on 9/11 in his classroom, he was raring to go.
“I was very close to quitting college and going back to the 82nd airborne division,” Attaway said.
After talking it over with his father, who had also enlisted into the 82nd airborne division before becoming an attorney, he decided to stay in school and graduated Cum Laude in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. After graduating, Attaway attended an aviation basic officer leader course and flight school at Fort Rucker, Alabama. He is a graduate of Ranger School, Air Assault School, Joint Firepower Course, Maneuver Captains Career Course and the Command and General Staff College.
Attaway enlisted thinking he would only stay for a few years, and found a career that he is truly happy in.
“Without a doubt, if I could be anywhere, any job in the military, this is it right here,” said Attaway.
This passion for his job does not go unnoticed by those around him.
“He’s a stellar officer, you can tell he’s a professional of his craft as an aviator,” Recruitment Operations Officer and Enrollment Advisor Christopher Powell, said.
Attaway plans on retiring within a few years as a Lieutenant Colonel at SFA.
“I’m really going to miss the comradery, but it does get tiring chasing around 20-year-old cadets down the street in the hot sun,” Attaway said.
One of those cadets is SFA Senior Evan McCord. He first met Attaway in his sophomore year and is the first person Attaway contracted to commit to become an army officer after graduating.
“He was so excited to come back to SFA and help grow our battalion,” McCord said. “You could see his passion from day one. I remember being in his office trying to take responsibility for something I did. He immediately took ownership of the consequence and assured me that anything I did was because of him.”
Attaway is dedicated to his work and a true leader. He has helped quintuple the battalion’s social media presence @sfa_rotc on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.