James' favorite beach is Destin Beach on Florida's Emerald Coast with its incredible white sand.
James oversees all BeneLynk government relations functions with government entities, military Veteran service organizations, and clients, partnering with stakeholders to ensure alignment and mitigate issues that inhibit improved health outcomes for the Veteran member population.
As the Senior HR Military Affairs Program leader with Marsh and McLennan, he served as a national subject matter expert in the Veteran talent space through consultation with several national panels/forums including the Veteran Jobs Mission, the American Legion, and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) sponsored events. James worked at Humana for more than 17 years and led their award-winning Veteran & Military Spouse Hiring Program. Through outreach strategies, the program recruited National Guard, Reservists, military retirees, Wounded Warriors, transitioning Veterans, and military spouses.
James also proudly serves as the tenth State Command Chief Master Sergeant for the Kentucky National Guard. Chief Tongate is the key advisor to Kentucky’s Adjutant General and his staff on all matters influencing mission readiness, training, promotion, retention, professional development, utilization, health, morale, welfare, and assignment policy affecting all enlisted Airmen and their families. Prior to this role, James served as the Human Resource Advisor and was a C-130H Tactical Loadmaster with three combat tours to Afghanistan, along with many other global operations, earning him four commendation medals. James began his service in 1986–1991 with the active-duty U.S. Air Force, then served in the KY Army National Guard as a Military Intelligence Analyst before transferring into the KY Air National Guard in December 1997, where he remains today.
Sharing a Few Thoughts...
I joined the BeneLynk family just over two years ago, when there were just thirty people with a vision and mission to assist our partners, learn about their members, and help those members live a better life. Now, we’ve rapidly grown to more than 200 employees with so much more growth on the way.
The incredible passion each of my colleagues shows toward our purpose inspires me! One such focus is supporting our military Veteran member population. As a Veteran myself, I am proud to be a part of an organization that helps other Veterans live a better, healthier life.
On another note regarding Veterans, our organization proudly recognizes the talent, attributes, and value that both Veterans and military spouses bring to our organization. BeneLynk continues to be recognized for its commitment to giving career opportunities to Veterans and military families.