James Lechner is a retired US Army Infantry Officer. Jim served in the US Army for 27 years, beginning as an enlisted infantryman in the Army National Guard. He is a 1989 graduate of The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina with a degree in History where he was commissioned in the Regular Army. His military career includes command and staff positions in conventional and special operations units, and participation in eight operational deployments to include Somalia with TASK FORCE RANGER, made famous by the book and movie “Blackhawk Down”, as well as the Sinai, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. His key leadership role during successful operations in the city of Ramadi, Iraq, are recounted in the books A Chance in Hell by Jim Michaels and A Soldier’s Dream by William Doyle. The recent movie American Sniper depicts some of the dramatic aspects of this critical battle in Ramadi during the war.
In addition to deployments in support of combat operations, he has served at the national policy level, to include advising the National Security Council at the White House and numerous tours at the Central Intelligence Agency. Since his retirement from the US military in 2011 Jim has served in Afghanistan as a counter insurgency advisor to the commanding general of the coalition forces, as well as providing support for other US government efforts. He holds a Masters degree in History, serves on the Board of Directors of the New York Warrior Alliance, the Big Red Barn Veterans Retreat Center and various other veterans charities. He is currently a History Professor for Liberty University and is the Sales Director for Radical Defense (AR15s and suppressors).
With the beginning of the War in Ukraine Jim joined the team at Newsmax as a war correspondent and has covered the war in live and video television broadcasts since March of 2022. When not overseas Jim lives with his wife Beth in Chapin, South Carolina and they are members of First Baptist Columbia church. He spends much of his time restoring an antebellum plantation in Newberry.