Lieutenant Colonel Jay Palmer is a native of Laramie, Wyoming. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in July 1998 and graduated basic training as a Private First Class from Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. Following boot camp, he attended Aviation Maintenance School in Pensacola, Florida and Lemoore, California where he was meritoriously promoted to Lance Corporal and subsequently qualified as an F/A-18 Hydraulics and Structural Mechanic.
Lieutenant Colonel Palmer received orders to MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina where he served with the Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 251. As a Thunderbolt, he completed one deployment aboard the USS Kennedy (CV-67) from October 1999 to March 2000 in support of Operation Southern Watch. He promoted to Corporal in October 1999. In May 2001, he was promoted to Sergeant and began pursuing his bachelor’s degree and subsequently accepted into the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program where he attended the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.
In 2002, Lieutenant Colonel Palmer attended Officer Candidate School in the summer between his freshman and sophomore years. He promoted to Staff Sergeant in July 2004. In May 2005, he graduated Cum Laud with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Sport Science, was commissioned a Second Lieutenant, and married his wife.
Following graduation from the Basic School in 2006, Lieutenant Colonel Palmer attended flight school training in Manassas, Virginia; Pensacola, Florida; and Corpus Christi, Texas before being designated a Naval Aviator in November 2007.
After winging, he completed initial KC-130J training at Cherry Point, North Carolina before receiving follow-on orders to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron (VMGR) 152 in Okinawa, Japan. He was promoted to First Lieutenant in May 2007 and Captain in June 2009. In January 2009, he and his wife welcomed the arrival of their twin daughters. As a Sumo, he served as the squadron Communications Officer, Airframes Division Officer, Flight Duty Officer, and Detachment Avionics and Ordnance Division Officer. He completed one deployment in 2010 to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). In March 2011, Lieutenant Colonel Palmer supported the Sumo’s participation in Humanitarian Assistance/Foreign Humanitarian Assistance in support of Operation Tomodachi.
In June 2011, Lieutenant Colonel Palmer received orders to Expeditionary Warfare School (EWS) in Quantico, Virginia. Following EWS, he was assigned to VMGR-352 in San Diego, California. As a Raider, he served as the Future Operations Officer, Aircrew Training Officer, Detachment Operations Officer for two deployments (OEF and Operation Inherent Resolve), Assistant Aircraft Maintenance Officer, KC-130 Aircraft Commander, and a Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI). In 2013, he and his wife welcomed the arrival of their third daughter.
In June 2015, Lieutenant Colonel Palmer returned to Quantico, Virginia for Command and Staff College, where he graduated with honors and earned his master’s degree in Military Studies. He was promoted to Major in August 2015. After graduation, they moved to Canadian Forces Base Trenton, Ontario where he served as an aviation exchange officer with the Royal Canadian Air Force’s 436 Transport (T) Squadron until July 2019. During his time with the Canucks, he served as the squadron Readiness Officer, Safety and Standardization Officer, Instrument Check Pilot, Instructor Pilot, and the Aircrew Officer. As a Canuck, he served all over North America and completed numerous deployments as a CC-130J Pilot to Vancouver Island, British Columbia; Bridgetown, Barbados; Alert, Nunavut; and Thule, Greenland.
In summer 2019, Lieutenant Colonel Palmer returned to VMGR-352 where he served as the Aircraft Maintenance Officer and the Executive Officer. He promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in July 2021. In August 2021, Lieutenant Colonel Palmer received orders to Marine Aircraft Group 12 in Iwakuni, Japan where he served as the Ready Group WTI and Department of Safety and Standardization Director.
His personal decorations include the Air Medal (6), the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (2), and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2).