James A. Baum is a native of Virginia Beach, Virginia. He enlisted into the Marine Corps in February 1998. Upon completion of recruit training at MCRD Parris Island and the School of Infantry (where he earned the MOS of 0311) at Camp Geiger, North Carolina, he was sent to Basic Security Guard School (where he earned the additional MOS of 8152) in Chesapeake, Virginia. After completing BSG, PFC Baum was assigned to Naval Submarine Base Bangor, Washington from 1998-2000.
While at Bangor, he held the billets of rifleman, fire team leader, and squad leader. He was promoted to the rank of Corporal in October of 2000.
From November of 2000 through 2001, Cpl Baum was stationed at the Joint Reception Center, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California where he was assigned as a Troop Handler.
After 9-11, he re-enlisted and was given orders to 2nd Bn 4th Marines. From 2001-2005 Sgt Baum was in Echo Company 2/4, during that time, he held the billets of Squad Leader, Platoon Sergeant, and Platoon Commander. He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in June 2002. He deployed 3 times while in 2/4; once with the 31st MEU and then 1 Combat deployments to Iraq with Coalition Forces in 2003 and then 1 Combat Deployment to Ramadi, Iraq in 2004.
From 2005-2008 Sgt Baum was assigned to MCRD San Diego where he held the billets of Drill Instructor, Experienced Drill Instructor, and Senior Drill Instructor. In November 2006 he was promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant.
From 2008-2010 SSgt Baum was assigned to 3rd Bn 9th Marines in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. During his time with 3/9, he held the billets of Platoon Sergeant and Company Gunnery Sergeant. GySgt Baum deployed 2 times while with 3/9; a combat deployment to Iraq and an Individual Augment with African Partnership Station to Haiti and Africa. He was promoted to Gunnery Sergeant in February 2010.
From 2010-2013 GySgt Baum was assigned to Marine Corps Security Cooperation Group. While there he held the billets of Special Skills Section Leader, Training Chief, Chief Instructor, and Training and Instructor Group SNCOIC. He also completed a deployment to the Republic of Georgia.
In May of 2013, GySgt Baum checked into the United States Naval Academy. While there, he held the billets of Senior Enlisted Marine and also served as the 6th Company Senior Enlisted Leader. He was promoted to 1stSgt in August 2015 and executed orders to 2d AA Battalion.
From 2015-2017 1stSgt Baum was assigned to 2d Assault Amphibian Battalion, where he held the billets of Bravo Company First Sergeant and Headquarters and Service Company First Sergeant.
In December 2017 1stSgt Baum executed orders to 2D Marine Raider Battalion where he was the Marine Special Operations Company First Sergeant for MSOC F. While with MSOC F, 1stSgt Baum conducted a combat deployment to Iraq where he held the billet of Special Operations Task Force North SgtMaj. 1stSgt Baum was selected for SgtMaj in Dec 2018.
SgtMaj Baum was promoted to his current rank in August 2019 and now serves as the Recruiting Station SgtMaj for San Antonio.
SgtMaj Baum is married to Kimberley K. Baum and together they have four children; Katelyn 14, Roxy 12, Samuel 7, and Titan 5.
SgtMaj Baum's personal awards include the Navy Commendation Medal (with gold star in lieu of 2nd award), the Joint Service Achievement Medal, the Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal (with gold star in lieu of 2nd award), and the Combat Action Ribbon.