Rocky Mount native retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. James Mercer has been appointed to the state’s Military Affairs Commission by Gov. Roy Cooper.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to be named to the North Carolina Military Affairs Commission,” Mercer said. “It’s a great organization and it has an important purpose and mission in North Carolina.”

The 25-member state Military Affairs Commission advises the governor, lawmakers, the secretary of commerce and other state agencies on activities and legislation promoting the role of North Carolina’s military installations in national defense strategy and the state’s economy.

Mercer said that the Military Affairs Commission works hard to improve the quality of life of military personnel and families and veterans in North Carolina.

Mercer sees quality-of-life issues for veterans and military personnel and their families as a top priority of the commission.

The military affairs commission’s goals include protecting North Carolina’s existing military bases and installations and leading the state’s efforts to prepare for any possible troop reductions, base realignment and closures.

Mercer brings to the military affairs commission an extensive background in military service.

He served in the U.S. Army, U. S. Army Reserves and the N.C. National Guard for more than 35 years, retiring in 2013 with the rank of lieutenant colonel. During the Iraq War, he served one tour of duty in 2003 with the 3rd U.S. Army Division.

Throughout his military career, Mercer held command and staff positions at company, battalion, brigade and group level commands.

In his dual military career, he managed emergency management and homeland security agencies with Edgecombe County, Fayetteville State University and the City of Raleigh. He currently heads the Military Studies department at N.C. Wesleyan College.

Mercer has served and held management positions in civic and professional organizations. He is a Deacon at Thornes Chapel Missionary Baptist Church and is serving as vice chairman of the NCC Board of Trustees.

Mercer received a bachelor’s degree from Shaw University and a master’s degree from Grace College and Seminary.

He is married to Delois Mercer. They have one son and four daughters.