General Jay Raymond (ret.) is a thirty-eight-year veteran of US Space Force and US Air Force. He has commanded national security space units at every level of command, from squadron to combatant command. He is recognized as a global leader in all sectors of space operations, including national security, intelligence, commercial, civil, and international space. 

Raymond was raised in a military family and, after graduating from Clemson University in 1984, was commissioned into the US Air Force. Throughout his career, he has served in numerous command, joint, and service staff jobs in nuclear, space, cyber, and air operations. 

He has commanded the Fifth Space Surveillance Squadron, the 30th Operations Group, the 21st Space Wing, the 14th Air Force, Joint Forces Space Component Command, and Air Force Space Command, and served as the first commander of the reestablished US Space Command, our nation’s newest combatant command. He has deployed as Central Command’s director of space forces, supporting operations in both Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2011, he was stationed in Japan and served in a critical leadership position in Operation Tomodachi, a humanitarian and disaster relief operation following a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami and nuclear reactor disaster.   

As a transformational leader, Gen. Raymond has planned, established, and led large, complex organizations with budgets exceeding $24 billion. In December 2019, the US president appointed Gen. Raymond to serve as the first chief of space operations for the newly established US Space Force. In this role, and the first-ever space force guardian, he oversaw the standup of all new space force organizations, the transfer of personnel from other military branches, the consolidation of space units from other services, the setting of the service’s culture, and the design of its force structure. He has built extensive global partnerships with US allies and coalition partners and with the intelligence community, the commercial space sector, and civilian space agencies. As a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he served as a strategic advisor to the president, the secretary of defense, and National Security Council. 

For his work in leading the initial building of the US Space Force, Raymond has been described as the “father of the space force.” He retired from military service on January 1, 2023.   

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