Major General James J. Mingus enlisted into the Iowa Army National Guard in 1981. He was commissioned in the Field Artillery Branch in 1985 from Winona State University and later branched Infantry after he entered active duty in 1987. He served as a platoon leader, executive officer, and battalion maintenance officer at 2nd Battalion, 30th Infantry, 3rd Infantry Division in Germany from 1988 to 1991. As a captain, he served as a rifle company commander, 2-505 PIR, Division Long Range Surveillance Detachment commander, aide-de-camp to the commanding general, and commander of the XVIII Airborne Corps Long Range Surveillance Company. MG Mingus subsequently served as an ROTC Assistant Professor of Military Science instructor for the University of Tennessee-Knoxville from 1997 to 1999. He was then selected to be the liaison officer, and later Battalion S3 for the 1st Ranger Battalion from 2000 to 2003. He then served as the chief, Joint Planning Group, and later chief, Current Operations at Joint Special Operations Command. He then commanded the 4th Ranger Training Battalion from 2005 to 2007 and subsequently commanded the Regimental Special Troops Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, from 2007-2009. In 2010, he assumed command of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, where he deployed the brigade in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Between 2001 and 2012, he deployed 12 times in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
He served in United States Central Command as the director of the Commander's Action Group, executive officer to the commander, and the deputy J5, Plans. He then served as the Deputy Commanding General (Maneuver), 4th Infantry Division. Most recently he served as the Director, Mission Command Center of Excellence.
Major General Mingus is married to the former Amy Hedgepeth of Lumberton, NC. They have one daughter and two sons.