James Whitcher graduated from Hot Springs High School in 2006 – Go Bison! He enlisted in the Navy and was on active duty with them for five (5) years. After being discharged from the Navy in 2011, James sought to quench his thirst for knowledge by enrolling in college at the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND.
James majored in Athletic Training. During these years James provided sideline coverage and sports medicine care to collegiate and high school athletes. During weekends, James provided emergency services as an EMT for an ambulance service in Killdeer, ND. James graduated Summa Cum Laude and became licensed as an athletic trainer. During the summers of undergraduate, James had the following educational experiences: (1) interned for Senator John Thune in his D.C. office; (2) worked as a wildland fire suppressor at Wind Cave National Park; (3) attended Marine Officer Candidate School in Quantico VA; and (4) waited tables at a restaurant named Cheddars.

Following graduation from college and Officer Candidate School, James was commissioned as a 2nd LT in the Marine Corps. He would spend one year on active duty for training before being released to the reserve component of the Marines. In 2021, James went back on active duty to attend Marine Artillery Officer Basic Course. James is currently a Captain in the reserves with 6th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company (ANGLICO) and drills in Fort Lewis Washington. He is a Firepower Control Team Leader for ANGLICO. He is a graduate of Marine Expeditionary Warfare School.
His awards include 2019 University of South Dakota School of Health Sciences Student Leader of the Year, 2018 University of South Dakota Student Veteran of the Year, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (x2), Humanitarian Service Medal, Sea Service ribbon, Junior Sailor of the Quarter, and the Navy Battle “E” ribbon.

In 2009, while deployed aboard the USS George Washington in the South Pacific, James became a Son of King Neptune, earning the title “Shellback.”

James attended Physical Therapy school at the University of South Dakota – Go Yotes! James worked as a graduate assistant for USD in the student veteran’s resource center – assisting the student veteran to make the transition from active duty/combat setting to the classroom. He volunteered for the University providing Pro Bono PT services as well as volunteering for Special Olympics. James served on the Diversity Health Affairs committee during this time. James continued to seek personal growth while pursuing his DPT degree and became certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He completed clinical affiliations at the following: Regional West Medical Center (Scottsbluff, NE); Philip Health Services (Philip, SD); Black Hills Orthopedic and Spine Center (Rapid City, SD); Rapid City Regional Hospital (Rapid City, SD); and the VA Hospital/ Traumatic Brain Injury Unit (Minneapolis, MN).
James is a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), a licensed Athletic Trainer (ATC), and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). James continues to pursue advanced certifications in Orthopedics and sports medicine. He is registered to sit for the Orthopedic Clinical Specialist exam in February of 2022.

James has published the following professional works:

  1. Ness BM, Tao H, Javers D, Thielson A, Tvedt H, Whitcher J. “Development of an Upper Extremity Swing Count and Performance Measures in NCAA Division I Volleyball Players over a Competitive Season.” International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, vol. 14, no. 4, July 2019, pp. 582–591, 10.26603/ijspt20190582
  2. Whitcher, James. “Articulating Doctrine to Junior Marines.” Marine Corps Gazette, Jan. 2021, pp. 89–91.
  3. Whitcher, James. “Modernizing Military Education: Increasing Cerebral Lethality in the Uncertain Battlespaces of Tomorrow.” Marine Corps Gazette, June 2021.

James seeks physical challenges in his off time. He has completed >10 full-length Marathons, two (2) Ironman triathlons (Tulsa & Madison), a 50-mile ultramarathon, and a 74-mile kayak race. He is a graduate of the Bothwell Bull Rider School. He aspires to climb Mount Everest if he could ever “hit a lick” and acquire the requisite capital.

James is the proud father to his son, Odin James. 

Favorite Quote:
Run while you have the light of life, lest the darkness of death overtake you. Lumen Vitae"
Saint Benedict

James would love to help you meet your goals and take part of the rehabilitation journey with you.

Therapists Additional Information


  • University of Mary, Bismarck, ND


  • University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD 


  • Athletic Trainer Certified
  • Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

Medical Interests

  • Military medicine
  • Sports medicine
  • Orthopedic conditions
  • Back pain 
  • Ankle/foot impairments

Phone: (605) 341-1414

Office: Rapid City, SD

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