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Meet the Management Team of Academy Connect

James Duncan

Founder, Academy Connect
USMA ‘95

James Duncan has been helping, mentoring and connecting Service Academy graduates looking for their next career to the best companies in America for more than ten years as president of The Sterling Group, a boutique executive search firm with clients ranging from family firms to the Fortune 1000.

Before founding The Sterling Group in 2007, James held a variety of senior leadership positions with entrepreneurial start-up companies. He co-founded Alliance International, a junior military officer recruiting firm in North Carolina.

He was also General Manager for a privately held waste management company that made the Inc. 500 list in 2001. During his tenure, he increased key ratios such as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) and profit margins by more than 100%.

James lives in Holly Springs with his family and is active with a number of non-profit organizations, including HikingHeroes & Friends4Michael—a foundation to help find a cure for pediatric brain tumors and provide financial support to their families.

Military Service

From 1995 to 2000, James was an Infantry officer in the U.S. Army (2-8 INF-4 ID), serving as a Platoon Leader and Company Executive Officer. As Battalion Maintenance Officer, he was also the top-ranked officer in the battalion. He graduated from Ranger School, Airborne School and the Bradley Leaders Course, as well as being deployed to the National Training Center on four occasions. James earned an Expert Infantrymen Badge (EIB).and received an Army Commendation Medal (ARCOM).

He attended United States Military Academy at West Point, lettering twice while playing Division 1 Football for the Army football team. He received his B.S. in Management when he graduated from there in 1995.



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