About the Iron Camel
MAJ Jim Gafney is a 20+ year veteran of the United States Army. Starting as an enlisted soldier in 1988, Jim worked as a mechanic on AH-1F and CH-47D helicopters, instructed at the US Army Air Assault School in Fulda Germany, taught CH-47D maintenance at Ft. Eustis, VA then, as a Staff Sergeant, applied and was accepted to Officer Candidate School. In May of 1999, he graduated Officer Candidate School as a Distinguished Military Graduate and was branched Aviation.
Following Officer Candidate School, the then 2LT Gafney attended Initial Entry Rotary Wing Training at Ft. Rucker, Alabama where he graduated with honors. Once again, Jim found himself in the CH-47 community, although this time as a pilot and platoon leader. In 2003, he found himself as a Company Executive Officer with the 101st Airborne Division during the initial invasion of Iraq kicking off Operation Iraqi Freedom.
To become a well rounded officer, Captain Jim Gafney made the decision to attend the Armor Captains Career Course at Ft. Knox, KY; a decision that would pay off during his second tour to Iraq. He remained at Ft. Knox for two years where he commanded a small company that was responsible for Training, Teaching, and Mentoring National Guard Aviation Units deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan. For his efforts, he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal and Bronze Order of St. Michael Medal.
As fate would have it, Maj Jim Gafney became the Executive Officer of a Military Transition Team (MiTT) and found himself mentoring Corps Level Colonels and Generals of the Iraqi Army, to include the Lieutenant General, Corps Commander, Western Baghdad, Iraq. The ground maneuver techniques he learned during the Armor Career Course that focused on Counter Insurgency paid off in dividends by his confident ability to lead such senior officers of a foreign army. At the end of his tour, he was recognized by receiving the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious.
MAJ Jim Gafney has traveled to countries such as Germany, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, England, France, Korea, Thailand, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Iraq.
His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star (M), Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal (4), Army Achievement Medal (6), Aviator Badge, Air Assualt Badge, Bronze Order of St. Michael and several other awards.
He is married to his beautiful wife Larson. Between them have 7 children aged 2 to 20. Together they have owned two businesses and are embarking on a careers in real estate, writing and keynote speaking.