by Kimberly Coghill

After serving for more than 20 years in the Marines, Major David Palmer temporary shelved his uniform in 2014 and joined SPI as the Director of Industry Affairs for the Equipment Council. His extensive military training and experience prepared him for daily life at a Washington-based trade association.

Major David Palmer

Palmer proudly points out that he “didn’t join the military – he joined the Marines” because he wanted to be a member of the world’s finest fighting force, which celebrated its 240th birthday yesterday.

As an 18-year-old enlistee in 1986, Palmer earned a highly-coveted position as a plane captain assigned to a Marine fighter-attack squadron. “Aside from being a pilot, this is the best job in Marine aviation,” he said, adding that the role required him to serve as a jet engine mechanic and the lead crewmember charged with overseeing aircraft function checks, and directing the control and movement of the “bird” when it’s on the ground.

Palmer later became an intelligence officer after earning his commission, and subsequently progressed to the role of Marine air-ground task force (MAGTF, pronounced “MAG-TAFF”) intelligence officer.

Serving in the Marines afforded Palmer opportunities and life lessons that cannot be found in a book, on a college campus or on the Internet. The true value in his experience came from “being part of something really special, helping people who needed help – and defeating those who threaten Americans and the life we love,” he said.

Along with the camaraderie and patriotism so deeply steeped in the military, men and women who join the U.S. armed forces gain an understanding and appreciation of true, effective leadership. Palmer said every Marine ­­­– regardless of rank or position – is considered a leader and is expected to lead when called upon.

“My greatest professional achievements are tied to my service as a U.S. Marine,” said Palmer. “Marines are faithful to the mission, to each other, to the Corps and country – no matter what. On Veterans Day, I ask you to thank a veteran for the sacrifices, dedication and service that secures our freedom.”

Palmer, a husband and father, continues to serve in the Marine Reserves.

Semper Fidelis and Happy Veterans Day!