James Edward Linder 9 July 1950 – 26 April 2020 HUMINT Collections Manager at the Defense Intelligence Agency
James (Jim) was born in Harrisburg, PA on July 9, 1950. After graduating from John Harris High School, Jim enrolled in Tampa University. Unfortunately, as an out-of-state resident, Jim was unable to afford the tuition to finish his degree and was forced to drop out after 2 years. He returned to Harrisburg and went into retail management. With his dreams of faraway lands and high professional aspirations undiminished, Jim enlisted in the US Army to be a Cold War linguist in the field of military Intelligence. In June of 1976, Jim shipped off to Ft. Leonard Wood, MO for boot camp. A few months later, he married Jeanne Brienzo and reported to his first duty station at the Defense Language Institute (DLI) to learn Russian in Monterey, California. In California, Jeanne gave birth to Damion. After graduating from DLI’s 18 months Russian Language program, the young family was assigned to Ft Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina in 1977. Soon after, sons Seneca (1978) and the twins, Jared and Jerel (1980) were born.
In 1980, Jim was sent back to DLI to learn Czech in order to carry out his mission in Munich, debriefing intercepted Czech defectors and refugees crossing into Germany. Excelling in his career, Jim was selected for the Warrant Officer program. After graduating in 1985, Jim moved to Ft Hood, Killeen, Texas for three years. Afterwards, he returned to DLI to learn German for 12 months before assuming his new mission in Stuttgart Germany as the XO of 518 Battalion at Coffey Barracks, Ludwigsburg.
In 1990, Jim deployed to Saudi Arabia to serve in the Gulf war; charged with running a POW camp where he interrogated captured Iraqi combatants. Here in this capacity, Jim was awarded the Bronze Star for performing above and beyond his call of duty in a combat theatre.
In 1992, Jim was assigned to Bolling Air Force Base, Maryland as a Balkans Operations Officer overseeing the Intelligence operations in Albania, Slovenia, Serbia, Macedonia, Romania and Bulgaria. Jim retired from the Army after 20 years of service in 1996. Not yet finished with Intelligence, Jim became a HUMINT Collections Manager at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). There, he worked with Defense Attaché Offices to produce and disseminate thousands of Intelligence reports to NATO and the Intelligence Community. Here, he finished his Bachelor’s Degree in Military Intelligence from the Defense Intelligence University (DIU).
In 2009, Jim became the first HUMINT Career Manager at Quantico, VA, where he served as a career counselor, and guiding young Intelligence analysts on their professional paths. Although Jim learned 3 languages and traveled to many countries, the highlight of Jim’s career was helping others with their own.
In 2016, Jim was diagnosed with a form of blood cancer known as Multiple Myeloma that he valiantly battled for 4 years. In his final days, with the help of at-home-hospice, he was cared for around the clock by his family to ensure he remained content and comfortable. He passed away peacefully knowing he was dearly loved while his wife of 43 years held his hand.
Jim is survived by his wife Jeanne Linder, his four sons (Damion, Seneca, Jared and Jerel), his mother, Ella Woodward, his brother, Lyndon Kirkland, and his sisters, Debbie Ridgeway and Denise Kirkland. He is also survived by his 2 nieces (Thais and Indira Ridgeway) and his 9 grandchildren. He will be truly missed by his family and those who knew him well.
Defense Intel Alumni Association PO Box 354, Charlotte Court House, VA 23923