Interview of James Brower, Jr by Grant Miller
November 3, 2016
First Sergeant James Brower, United States Army retired, recounts memories and experiences during a storied 27-year career in the military. Born on September 22, 1969, in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Brower grew up in a simpler time and in a setting where his father’s military posting afforded him the freedom to roam the Cuban countryside. Here he was able to witness firsthand the military of the United States, inspiring him to one day serve his country. From his childhood as a young Navy-dependent to his experiences as a non-commissioned officer in the U.S. Army Seventy-Fifth Ranger Regiment, Brower touches on a trove of memories and life lessons from his years of service.
At an early age, Brower realized that he sought the drive, the contest, and the distinctiveness of serving his country— being a U.S. Army Ranger was his calling. His billets ranged from serving as a trainer-instructor in the Ranger Training Brigade to service as an NCO from squad to company levels, as well as service in different units. His professional background is distinguished not only by deployments to countries ranging from Afghanistan to Somalia and assignments in the Special Operations community, but also by a break in service when he harnessed the skillsets from his military background to succeed in corporate America. After a yearlong assignment as an ROTC instructor at the Army Department of The Citadel, First Sergeant Brower is now retiring from his service in the Army. He is now putting down roots with his family in Summerville, South Carolina, while taking on a new role as the Second Battalion TAC NCO.
Throughout all of his years of service, Brower relied on his comrades in arms, his mentors, and, most significantly, his loving wife. These people served as an intermediary of support; throughout his career he was able to rely on others’ strength as well as his own determination. In the interview, Brower discusses his relationship with these individuals and the profound effect their support has had on his career and on his development as a leader.