First African American Female 189th Airlift Wing Base Records Manager, Privacy Act Manager, and Freedom of Information Act Manager

Master Sergeant (MSgt) Teresa James:

Master Sergeant (MSgt) Teresa James was born in Conway, Arkansas. She grew up in Damascus, Arkansas and graduated from Guy-Perkins High School in May 1983. In May 2001, she received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management from Park University. Additionally, she received Associate Degrees in Allied Science and Information Resource Management in 1987 and 1999, respectively. From 1989 to 2003, by correspondence, she completed the Non-Commission Officer Preparatory Military Course, the Non-Commission Officer Academy, and the USAF Senior NCO Academy.

MSgt James enlisted in the Arkansas Air National Guard in May 1987 and was assigned to the 189th Military Personnel Flight at Little Rock AFB. After completing Basic Training at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas, and Technical Training School at Keesler AFB in Gulfport, Mississippi, she served as a Reenlistment and Separations Personnel Specialist. She performed in this role for three years and then seized an opportunity to cross-train into an Information Management Specialist position with the 189th Maintenance Group until 1995.

In May 1995, MSgt James returned to the 189th Mission Support Group and assumed the role of the Base Records Manager for the 189th Airlift Wing where she became the first African American Female to hold this position. In addition, she served as the first African American Female Privacy Act Manager and Freedom of Information Act Manager. In May 2014, her position converted to a Knowledge Operation Management role.

MSgt James completed three tours overseas in support of several contingency operations. In July 2019-January 2020, while deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation Spartan Shield, she was coined by her squadron commander for her significant achievements and for her outstanding job performances.

Over the course of her military career, MSgt James volunteered as a mentor and counselor for the Annual Minuteman Youth Summer Camp held at Camp Joseph. T. Robinson, North Little Rock.

On October 3, 2021, MSgt James retired after faithfully serving 34 years of military service. She has received numerous Air National Guard and state awards, decorations, citations, and accolades, most notably, the Meritorious Service Medal with an Oak Leaf Cluster.

MSgt James is enjoying her retirement with her family. She is actively volunteering in her church and local community, and presently serving as a volunteer Outreach Director for the Arkansas Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve based at Camp J.T. Robinson.