Lieutenant Colonel Jim Holland grew up the son of a
career Army officer. He spent his childhood in six states and two
countries. In 1964 he graduated from Mount Saint Mary’s College in
Emmitsburg, Maryland. After graduation he enlisted in the Army’s
College Option Program for Officers Candidate School. He was
commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant of Infantry in June of 1965 and later
graduated from Army Ranger and Parachute training.
August 1966, Jim was assigned as Platoon Leader with C Company, 1st Battalion,
Regiment, 1st Infantry
Division (The Big Red 1). On August 25, 1966, his second day in
combat, a patrol from C Co engaged one of the best Viet Cong main
force battalions, the Phu Loi Battalion reinforced by a local force
company. The remainder of C Company loaded on a platoon of attached
armored vehicles from the 1st Squadron, 4th
Cavalry and attacked to rescue the engaged ambush squad. Soon
Holland found him self in the middle of one of the major battles
fought by the 1st Infantry Division in Vietnam- the
Battle of Bong Trang. The close quarter fight was ferocious. For
six hours the company fought alone taking heavy casualties, 65
wounded and 13 Killed in Action. Early in the battle Lt Holland was
wounded by Vietcong mortar fire while leading an assault on a trench
line in the Vietcong’s
base camp. He remained with his platoon in spite of his wound.
After the battle he spent one week in the 3d Surgical Hospital and
then returned to his platoon. He lead that platoon for six more
months before he was chosen to be the Aide-de-Camp to the Assistant
Division Commander for Operations, BG James F. Hollingsworth. He
completed his first tour in August 1967.
Captain Holland returned to Vietnam in November 1968 assigned to
the 101st Airborne Division. At Camp Alpha he was
diverted to General Abram's Vietnamization Program. After attending
a two week course at the USARV Advisors School, he was assigned MACV
the Cu Chi District of Hau Nghia Province where John Paul Vann
boasted that all of his III Corps advisors had been wounded the
previous year. Captain Holland was assigned to advise a Regional
Forces Group of three light Infantry Companies based in Trung Lap.
He was wounded his second time in March 1969 while attempting a
night relief of a Regional Force Outpost that was under attack.
This time he was struck by grenade fragments, again in his magnetic
After promotion to Major, Jim completed the Command and General
Staff College and obtained a Masters Degree in Management from the
University of Central Michigan. His army assignments have been
varied. He has served in command positions; been an instructor at
the Infantry School at Fort Benning, GA; taught ROTC at Texas A&M
University; and served on the staff and faculty of the US Army
Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg, NC. He has also been a joint
staff officer on both the Operations and the Intelligence staffs of
the US Central Command and served as the C3 Air of the Combined
Field Army ROK/US in Euijongbu, South Korea.
Holland’s awards and decorations include the Combat Infantryman
Badge, Ranger Tab, Master Parachutist Wings, the Legion of Merit,
the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star Medal with "V" with
(1 OLC), the Bronze Star Medal with (4 OLC), the Purple Heart with
(1 OLC), the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Army Meritorious
Service Medal (1 OLC), Air Medal with "V" and (16 OLC), Army
Commendation Medal with (3 OLC), Meritorious Unit Commendation,
Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, and the Republic
of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Gold Star.
retired from the Army in 1989 and took a job with the Florida
Department of Health and Human Services, working with Federal Grants
for his first 10 years and now in the Contracts Office of the
Department of Children and Families in Tallahassee, FL where he
lives with his wife Marilyn.
is currently serving his fourth year as Commander of the Department
of Florida, Military Order of the Purple Heart. In 2005, he was
elected as the commander of Tallahassee Chapter 758 of the Military
Order of the Purple Heart and has since held the position of
salute Patriot LTC (Ret) Jim Holland for his distinguished service
to the United States of America and to his fellow man.