Official photo of Col. James Kokaska, Chief of Staff, 416th Theater Engineer Command (Photo by DA Photo)
BG James Kokaska was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers following graduation from Bradley University as a distinguished military graduate in 1992.
Previous assignments include Line Platoon Leader, Assault and Obstacle Platoon Leader, Executive Officer, and Assistant S3, 23rd Engineer Battalion, 1st Armored Division, Friedberg, Germany and Bosnia; XVIII Airborne Corps Engineer Operations Officer, 20th Engineer Brigade (Airborne), Ft. Bragg, North Carolina; Company Commander, B/863rd Engineer Battalion, HHC/863rd Engineer Battalion and 739th MRBC; Civil Engineer, Facility Engineer Center Northwest, Ft. McCoy, Wisconsin with tours in Iraq and Afghanistan; S3 Operations Officer, Facility Engineer Group, Darien, Illinois; Executive Officer 378th Engineer Detachment (FEST-M), Darien, Illinois; Executive Officer 416th Theater Engineer Command Deployable Command Post, Darien, Illinois; Deputy Chief, Theater Basing, ISAF Joint Command, Kabul, Afghanistan; Battalion Commander 863rd Engineer Battalion, Darien, IL; Brigade Commander 372nd Engineer Brigade, Chief of Staff 416th Theatre Engineer Command.
BG Kokaska holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Construction Engineering from Bradley University and a Master of Science in Engineering Management from the University of Missouri as well as a Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College. His military education includes the Engineer Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, Combined Arms Services Staff School, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Army War College, U.S. Army Airborne Course, the Sapper Leader Course, and the U.S. Army Ranger Course.
BG Kokaska’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Achievement Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Army
Superior Unit Award, the National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal with 2 campaign stars, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with 2 campaign stars, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Armed Forces Service Medal, the Overseas Service Ribbon with Numeral 4, the NATO Medal, the Parachutist Badge, the Sapper Tab, the Ranger Tab and the German Armed Forces Efficiency Badge (GOLD).
His operational deployments include Operation Joint Endeavor, Bosnia, Operation Iraqi Freedom II, Iraq, and two tours Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan. BG Kokaska in his civilian capacity works as the North Region Director of Design and Construction for Advocate Healthcare in the Chicagoland area. BG Kokaska is married to the former Jane Ann O’Connell and they have five children Ashlynn, Matthew, Lauren, Julia, and Ella.