James Griffin was born and raised in Orlando, Fl. A 1996 graduate of Boone High School, he also attended Conway Christian Academy, and Southwest
Middle School. While at Boone, he also served in leadership roles in the Beta Club, Junior ROTC, National Honor Society, in his Church Youth group, and
was selected to attend the American Legion Boys State. Upon graduation, he was awarded a full Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship.
James achieved a number of accomplishments during his soccer career. He played Varsity his sophomore through senior year. A varsity team co-captain his junior and senior years, he led the team to back-to-back District Championship in 94-95, 95-96 as well as a perfect 11-0 season in the Metro Conference. As goalkeeper, be had 2 shutouts his sophomore year, 9 shutouts his junior year, and 12 shutouts his senior year. He was All-Metro honorable mention as a junior, All-Metro first team as a senior, FACA All-District team as a junior and senior, Goalkeeper for the Orange County All Stars as a junior and senior, and Goalkeeper for the Central Florida team in the FACA Senior All Star game. He went on to play Division I soccer.
In 2000, he married his high school sweetheart, Michelle. He also graduated from Jacksonville University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer
Information Systems and was commissioned on Officer in the U.S. Navy. In 2009, he earned a Master’s in Business Administration with honors from the
American Military University. He later graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval War College.
In 2002, he completed Navy flight training, was designated a Naval Aviator, achieving a lifelong goals of becoming a pilot.
Over the next 10 years, he remained in the cockpit flying nearly 2,000 hours in the MH-53E “Seadragon” all around the world. He qualified as Airborne Mine Countermeasures (AMCM) Mission Commander, Functional Check Pilot, Fleet Replacement Squadron Instructor Pilot, AMCM Instructor Pilot, Night Vision Device Instructor Pilot, Deck Landing Qualification Instructor Pilot, and NATOPS Instructor. In addition to flying, he served as Ground Safety, Flight Officer, Operations Officer, Weapons and Tactics Unit Officer in Charge (OIC), MH-53E Cockpit Upgrade Program Lead, Curriculum Officer, Department Head, Safety Officer, Training Officer, Detachment OIC, and Reserve Component OIC.
He completed multiple military deployments to the Mediterranean Sea and Arabian Gulf supporting Operations IRAQI FREEDOM AND ENDURING FREEDOM, and the Pacific Ocean. He deployed to Bagram, Afghanistan and served as the Counter IED Task Force Future Operations and Future Plans Officer for all near and long term counter IED operations in Afghanistan. He was the Officer in Charge of a helicopter detachment to Haiti that provided humanitarian aid and disaster relief to earthquake victims. He was flight lead for a 9 aircraft Centennial of Naval Aviation mixed formation flight.
In 2012, James became the Deputy Director of the Navy Energy Coordination Office at the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. He crafted operational energy strategy, policy, and managed $1.8B of operational energy investments. In 2015, James became Commanding Officer of the Navy Operational Support Center Springfield, Missouri. He led 8 Reserve Units to the execution of 12, 309 operational support days around the world. His command earned multiple awards for excellence and was recognized as having the best Armed Watchstander program across the Reserve Force two years in a row. He currently serves at the National Defense University in Washington D.C, as Director of the Reserve Component National Security Course.
He has coached youth soccer, served in leadership positions in the community and with his church. Along with his wife Michelle, his next life focus is poverty elimination in Nicaragua. They currently reside in Burke, VA with their three sons, Daniel, Gabriel, and Samuel.