Lieutenant Colonel James Armstrong was born in Johnson City, Tennessee. Following completion of high school, he received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy where he earned a B. S. in Ocean Engineering. Upon graduation in May of 2006, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps.
After completing The Basic School, Infantry Officer Course, and LAV Leaders Course, Second Lieutenant Armstrong reported to 2d Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina where he served as a Platoon Commander, Company Executive Officer, and Company Commander. While assigned to 2d Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, then Second Lieutenant Armstrong deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).
First Lieutenant Armstrong received orders to The Basic School in June 2010, where he served as a Warfighting Instructor and the Platoon Package Primary for eight Basic Officer Courses and two Warrant Officer Basic Courses. While serving in this capacity, he was selected to serve as an instructor at the Infantry Officer Course. He served as the class advisor for IOC class 3-12 and completed nine iterations of the three-week culminating exercise, Palm FEX.
In 2013, Armstrong was designated as a Marine Corps finalist for the Olmsted Scholarship by the Commandant’s Career Level Education Board and selected by the George and Carol Olmsted Foundation as an Olmsted Scholar to Podgorica, Montenegro. As part of this program, he attended the Serbo-Croatian Basic Course at the Defense Language Institute from August 2013 to June 2014 and was certified as a military linguist.
Lieutenant Colonel Armstrong served as an Olmsted Scholar in Podgorica, Montenegro from July of 2014 to June of 2016 where he worked closely with the U. S. Embassy Podgorica while simultaneously enrolled as a graduate student at the Economics Faculty of the University of Montenegro and at the Humanities Faculty of the University of Donja Gorica.
Upon completion of his tour in Montenegro, Lieutenant Colonel Armstrong reported to Third Battalion, First Marines where he served as a Company Commander, Battalion Executive Officer, and Operations Officer. During this assignment he was certified as an Operations and Tactics Instructor and deployed as part of the Unit Deployment Program and with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
In 2019, Lieutenant Colonel Armstrong reported to Headquarters Marine Corps, Manpower and Reserve Affairs where he served as the Combat Arms Majors Monitor during the period of Force Design and the Corona Virus pandemic. Upon promotion to his present rank, Lieutenant Colonel Armstrong assumed the responsibilities as the Operations Officer for Officer Assignments Branch and served as the Section Head for the Plans, Programs and Boards section.
Lieutenant Colonel Armstrong returned to 2d Marine Division in June of 2022 to serve as the Current Operations Officer in the Division G-3. He is married to the former Katherine Kennedy of Nashville, Tennessee. They have three boys.