James Harper grew up in Springfield, VA, and attended George Mason University. He graduated with a BA in Global Affairs in 2012, with concentrations in Russian Studies and Global Economy and Management. James enlisted in the US Army following graduation and he served for six years at Fort Bragg, NC. He initially served as an Infantryman in the 82nd Airborne Division, before completing selection and qualification courses for Psychological Operations. James served in Psychological Operations for three years, during which he completed two deployments to a US Embassy. He also completed a Graduate Certificate program in Security Studies from Virginia Tech during his time in service and he maintains a professional working proficiency in Russian language.