Major General James A. Adkins
Adjutant General of Maryland
Major General James A. Adkins was appointed as the 28th adjutant general of Maryland effective June 1, 2008. The adjutant general is responsible for the daily operations of the Maryland Military Department which includes the Maryland Army National Guard, Maryland Air National Guard, Maryland Emergency Management Agency and Maryland Defense Force. He is the senior advisor to the governor for those state agencies and is responsible for the readiness, administration and training of more than 7,200 members of the Maryland Military Department. As the adjutant general, he serves as the official channel of communication between the governor and the National Guard Bureau and serves as a member of the governor's cabinet.
General Adkins was born in Cambridge and grew up in Dorchester County on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Prior to entering the U.S. Army, he served two years with the Dorchester County Sheriff's Office.
His military career spans more than 30 years of service in both the enlisted and officer ranks. He has served at nearly every level of command and in various staff assignments. He is a graduate of the Defense Language Institute’s Russian Language Program in Monterey, California and served in intelligence, infantry and cavalry assignments in the United States and abroad. His military assignments also include director of military support to civil authorities, counter-drug taskforce commander and coordinator of emergency management operations. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, he assisted the Republic of Estonia in its transition to democracy.
General Adkins' military decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Maryland Distinguished Service Cross and the Order of the White Cross from the Republic of Estonia.
General Adkins served in the Maryland Military Department as chief of staff and assistant adjutant general for state operations. He also served as director of the Cemetery and Memorial Programs and as the deputy secretary of Veterans Affairs. In May 2007, Governor Martin O'Malley appointed General Adkins to his cabinet as the secretary of Veterans Affairs. He served as the state's key advisor for veteran issues until September 2009. For more than a year and a half, General Adkins simultaneously held two cabinet-level positions in the O'Malley administration and he continues to serve as the adjutant general.
His senior military education includes the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. He holds a bachelor's degree from the University of the State of New York and a master's degree from Washington College.
He is a member of numerous organizations including the Association of the United States Army, National Guard Association, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, AMVETS, U.S. Army War College Alumni Association, 2nd Armored Division Association, 29th Infantry Division Association, Military Intelligence Corps Association and the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association.