James Donald Brewer was born on November 19, 1951 in Tiptonville, Tennessee, United States to William D. and Nellie Virginia (Vance) Brewer. He grew up in west Tennessee, attending Jackson High School. He married Jan Caylor in 1972. He spend 30 years in service to his country as both an active duty soldier and a government civilian. He taught at the US Military Academy, West Point, NY, and has spent over 40 years as a freelance writer. In 2019 he reached the 50-year mark in training and teaching martial arts.