Trustee Berry is a native Texan, born July 10th 1951, Lovelady, TX, as the sixth of seven children, to Sabra D. and Leslie M. Berry. He graduated high school in May, 1969, entered Prairie View A&M University, graduated August 1973, with a bachelor’s of Science degree in Social Work, minor in Psychology. Upon graduation he was commissioned, Second Lieutenant, United States Army.
Trustee Berry entered active duty at Fort Knox, Kentucky, December, 1973 and spent 28 years continuous active service as an Armor Officer initially and then as an Army Intelligence Officer. He retired from active duty in July, 2001. He then spent an additional 12 years working in the Washington D. C. Metro Area and entered full time retirement effective 31 September, 2013, retiring as a Senior Intelligence Officer, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).
As an active duty officer, Colonel Berry was assigned to military command and staff positions both in the Continental United States and overseas. He served two tours of duty at the Pentagon as a member of the Army Staff and as a member of the Joint Staff. He was an Army paratrooper with over 50 parachute jumps. During 28 years of service he was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, two awards of the Army Meritorious Service Medal, two awards of the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Meritorious Unit Award for support to Operation Desert Storm (the first Iraq War) and the Senior Parachutist Badge.
Trustee Berry’s education beyond Prairie View includes, a Masters of Education in Counseling Psychology from Lincoln University, Jefferson City, Missouri; Graduate, Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama; Graduate, Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; Graduate, Army Intelligence Officer’s Advance Course, Fort Huachuca, Arizona and Graduate, Armor Officer’s Basic, Fort Knox, Kentucky.
James resides with his wife, Melodye W. (Walton) Berry of Texarkana, TX, in Springfield, Virginia. They have one daughter, Jamelle Berry Rone, who currently resides in Upper Marlborough, Maryland.