Major General James E. Simmons was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant of Armor following graduation from Arkansas State University in May of 1974. While at Arkansas State, Major General Simmons played defensive back for the Indians. He played on the 1970 undefeated National Championship team, earned three letters, and started on the 1972 team.
General Simmons was commissioned as the highest ranked officer coming out of the ROTC program in the United States. He served as Cadet Colonel for the ROTC Brigade following completion of Airborne and Ranger Training in 1973.
General Simmons has commanded at every level in the Regular Army from Platoon through Brigade. As a General Officer he served as the Assistant Division Commander for the 1st Cavalry Division, Commanding General of the US Army Safety Center, the Deputy Commanding General for III Corps, and as the Commanding General for III Corps (Rear) and Fort Hood, Texas. He deployed to Iraq in January 2004 as the Deputy Commanding General for III Corps. General Simmons is currently preparing to deploy to Iraq later this fall as the Deputy Commanding General for the Multi-National Corps-Iraq. In this capacity, he will be responsible for the day to day combat, combat support, and combat service support operations of nearly 30,000 US and Coalition Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines.
Major General Simmons has been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, the Department of Defense Superior Service Medal, four awards of the Legion of Merit, two awards of the Meritorious Service Medal, and two awards of the Army Commendation Medal.
Major General Simmons is married to the former Rita Westbrook of Jonesboro, Arkansas.