General Wright was born on 10 August 1944, in Houston, Texas. After attending Officer Candidate School, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Quartermaster Corps. His education includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and two Master’s Degrees, in Procurement and Contracting as well as Business Administration, both from the Florida Institute of Technology. His military education includes the Quartermaster Officer Advanced Course, the United States Army Command and General Staff College, and the United States Army War College.
In more than 34 years of military service around the world, General Wright has held numerous command and staff positions. Some of the more significant assignments include Commander, 25th General Supply Company, 95th Supply and Service Battalion, 3rd Support Brigade, United States Army, Europe, and Seventh Army; S-4 (Logistics) Advisor, Advisory Team 25, United States Military Assistance Command, Vietnam; Commander, Logistical Support Unit, Multinational Force and Observers, Sinai; Commander, Special Troops Battalion, 1st Corps Support Command (COSCOM), Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Commander, 426th Supply and Service Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Chief of Staff and later Deputy Commander, 1st COSCOM, Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Commander, Division Support Command, 7th Infantry Division (Light), Fort Ord, California, followed by service as the Assistant Division Commander also with the 7th Infantry Division. General Wright returned to Fort Bragg as Commander, 1st COSCOM, XVIII Airborne Corps, and then went to Washington, D.C., as the Director of Plans and Operations for the Deputy Chief of Staff, Logistics, United States Army. In October 1994, General Wright returned to Europe as the Deputy Chief of Staff, Logistics, United States Army, Europe, and Seventh Army. On his arrival he also became Director of Logistics, Controller Staff, for Exercise Atlantic Resolve ‘94.
In August 1995 General Wright was assigned as Commander of the 21st Theater Army Area Command in Kaiserslautern, Germany. He was responsible for establishing the Intermediate Staging Base at Taszar in Southern Hungary, which would serve as the staging area for US/NATO peacekeeping efforts in Bosnia. He oversaw the largest and most complex movement of US forces in Europe since the end of World War II. From December 11, 1995, to mid-February 1996, more than 24,000 soldiers, 200,000 tons of cargo and 12,000 pieces of equipment reached Hungary and subsequently Bosnia. This included 409 trips delivering 7,340 freight cars, 507 bus, 1,770 cargo trucks and approximately 750 C-17 cargo flights.
General Wright assumed the position of Quartermaster General on 10 June 1997. General Wright retired from the Army on 1 August 1999. He was employed with Dell Computes, Austin, Texas. He passed away on 6 February 2000 in Houston, Texas. He was interred at the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery at Fort Sam Houston, Texas on 11 February 2000.
General Wright’s awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal (with oak leaf cluster), Legion of Merit (with 4 oak leaf clusters), Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (with 2 oak leaf clusters), Army Commendation Medal (with 2 oak leaf clusters), Army Good Conduct Medal, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, and Army Staff Identification Badge.
On 31 March 2000, the 1st Corps Support Command dedicated a parade/athletic field at Fort Bragg in his honor. The street leading to the field was also renamed, “Wright Way”. On 17 May 2001 the Deployment Center at Rhine Ordnance Barracks in Vogelweh, Germany was named in honor of General Wright. On 16 May 2002 the Advanced NCO Academy Barracks at Fort Lee was named in his honor.
“It has been a great ride, but it is time for this Texan to put my horse away and hang up my spurs. As I leave, let me remind you all of the immortal words of the late General Creighton Abrams, former Army Chief of Staff and my hero. He said: “What this country needs, it cannot buy. It needs dedicated soldiers who see service to their country as an affair of the heart.” I hope it is that way with you.”Major General James M. Wright
Quartermaster Professional Bulletin – Summer 1999