John W. Raymond

John William "Jay" Raymond[1] (born April 30, 1962)[citation needed] is a United States Space Force general serving as its first chief of space operations. He previously concurrently served as the commander of United States Space Command, a position he held from August 29, 2019, to August 20, 2020. As the Space Force's highest-ranking officer, he currently oversees its organizational stand-up and the transfer of officers and enlisted personnel into the newest service branch.[2]

Jay Raymond
Raymond CSO 2019.jpg
Official portrait, 2019
Born (1962-04-30) April 30, 1962 (age 58)[citation needed]
Alexandria, Virginia
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branchUnited States Air Force (1984–2019)
United States Space Force (2019–present)
Years of service1984–present
Commands heldChief of Space Operations
United States Space Command
Air Force Space Command
Joint Force Space Component Commander
Fourteenth Air Force (Air Forces Strategic)
Joint Functional Component Command for Space
30th Operations Group
5th Space Surveillance Squadron
Battles/warsWar in Afghanistan
Iraq War
AwardsDefense Distinguished Service Medal
Air Force Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Defense Superior Service Medal (2)
Legion of Merit (2)
Alma materClemson University (BS)
Central Michigan University (MS)
Naval War College (MA)
SignatureJohn W. Raymond signature.jpg

Prior to being unilaterally transferred to the Space Force, he served over 35 years in the United States Air Force. While in the Air Force, he was still serving as the commander of U.S. Space Command but was also concurrently serving as the commander of the Air Force Space Command and as commander of Joint Force Space Component. Prior to that, he served as the deputy chief of staff for operations, headquarters United States Air Force at the Pentagon. Raymond has been deployed to serve in the War in Afghanistan and the Iraq War.

He originally assumed command of Air Force Space Command on October 25, 2016, and of Joint Force Space Component on December 1, 2017. He assumed the additional command of U.S. Space Command on August 29, 2019. On December 20, 2019, he relinquished command of Air Force Space Command and of Joint Force Space Component, as they were being disestablished, and assumed the office of chief of space operations. He dual-hatted as chief of space operations and as commander of United States Space Command until he relinquished command of U.S. Space Command on August 20, 2020, to U.S. Army general James Dickinson, who previously was the command's deputy commander.

Early life and educationEdit

Raised in Alexandria, Virginia, Raymond is the son of Barbara Ryan and John Allen Raymond;[3] his father is a 1958 graduate of the United States Military Academy. Since 1865, his family has had graduates from West Point, including his great great grandfather, great grandfather, grandfather, and father. [4][5] He graduated from Clemson University with a degree in administrative management[1] and was commissioned an officer in the United States Air Force in 1984.[6] The following year, he was assigned to the 321st Strategic Missile Wing at Grand Forks Air Force Base.

Military careerEdit

Raymond visits Thule Air Base in 2017 as Air Force Space Command commander

From 1989 to 1993, Raymond was an operations center officer controller with the 1st Strategic Aerospace Division and Executive Officer of the 30th Space Wing at Vandenberg Air Force Base. In 1993, he was assigned to Air Force Space Command.

In 1997, Raymond was stationed at The Pentagon. He remained there until 2000, at which time he assumed command of the 5th Space Surveillance Squadron located at RAF Feltwell in England. The following year, Raymond returned to the United States and became Deputy Commander of the 21st Operations Group. From 2003 to 2005, he was assigned to the Office of the United States Secretary of Defense.

In 2005, Raymond returned to Vandenberg Air Force Base and assumed command of the 30th Operations Group. He held that position until 2007, when he was named Commander of the 21st Space Wing. In 2009, Raymond was reassigned to Air Force Space Command as Director of Plans, Programs and Analyses. From December 2010 to July 2012, Raymond served as Vice Commander, 5th Air Force, and Deputy Commander, 13th Air Force, Yokota Air Base, Japan. From July 2012 to January 2014, Raymond served as Director of Plans and Policy (J5), United States Strategic Command, Offutt Air Force Base. From January 2014 to August 2015, Raymond served as Commander, Fourteenth Air Force (Air Forces Strategic), Air Force Space Command, and Commander, Joint Functional Component Command for Space, United States Strategic Command, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. After that, he returned the Pentagon to serve as the deputy chief of staff for the headquarters of the Department of the Air Force.

Raymond (left) attends the NDAA 2020 signing ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, where he was appointed first Chief of Space Operations, December 20, 2019
Raymond's OCP uniform

Raymond was nominated for promotion to the rank of general and to the command of Air Force Space Command on September 8, 2016.[7] This nomination was confirmed by the United States Senate on September 15.[8]

On March 22, 2019, Raymond was nominated to become the commander of United States Space Command.[9] The appointment was confirmed by the Committee on Armed Services on June 12 and later the United States Senate on June 27.[10] Raymond was appointed Space Force's first chief of space operations on December 20.[2] According to President Donald Trump, "With today's signing I will proudly appoint Gen. Jay Raymond the first chief of space operations and he will become the very first member of the Space Force and he will be on the Joint Chiefs."[11]

Awards and decorationsEdit

  Command Space Operations Badge
  Command Missile Operations Badge
  Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge
  Space Staff Badge
  Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Air Force Distinguished Service Medal with one bronze oak leaf cluster[12]
Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster[12]
Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster[12]
      Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters[12]
  Air Force Commendation Medal[12]
  Joint Meritorious Unit Award
    Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with two oak leaf clusters
    Air Force Organizational Excellence Award with two oak leaf clusters
  Combat Readiness Medal
Air Force Recognition Ribbon with oak leaf cluster
National Defense Service Medal with one bronze service star
  Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
  Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
  Humanitarian Service Medal
  Air Force Overseas Long Tour Service Ribbon
  Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with gold frame
      Air Force Longevity Service Award with one silver and three bronze oak leaf clusters
  Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon
  Air Force Training Ribbon
  National Order of Merit (France), Officer[13]
  • 2007 General Jerome F. O'Malley Distinguished Space Leadership Award, Air Force Association.
  • 2015 Thomas D. White Space Award, Air Force Association.
  • 2016 Peter B. Teets Government Award, National Defense Industrial Association.
  • 2017 James V. Hartinger Award, National Defense Industrial Association.

Effective dates of promotion[14]Edit

Rank Date
  Second lieutenant July 20, 1984
  First lieutenant July 20, 1986
  Captain July 20, 1988
  Major July 1, 1996
  Lieutenant colonel July 1, 1999
  Colonel July 1, 2004
  Brigadier general Aug. 19, 2009
  Major general May 4, 2012
  Lieutenant general  January 31, 2014
  General  October 25, 2016


  1. ^ a b "Clemson Commencement Program". May 1984. Retrieved 2019-03-26.
  2. ^ a b "GENERAL JOHN W. "JAY" RAYMOND". United States Space Force. 2019. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Assembly – United States Military Academy. Association of Graduates – Google Books". 2009. Retrieved 2019-12-23.
  6. ^ "GENERAL JOHN W. "JAY" RAYMOND". Retrieved 2016-10-25.
  7. ^ "General Officer Announcements". U.S. Department of Defense. 2016-09-08. Retrieved 2016-09-17.
  8. ^ "PN1673 — Lieutenant General John W. Raymond — Air Force". U.S. Congress. Retrieved 2016-09-17.
  9. ^ Erwin, Sandra (March 26, 2019). "Trump nominates Raymond to be commander of U.S. Space Command". SpaceNews. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  10. ^ Yoanna, Michael de. "Colorado U.S. Space Command Nominee Seeks To 'Deter A Conflict'". Retrieved 2019-07-08.
  11. ^ Browne, Ryan (December 20, 2019). "With a signature, Trump brings Space Force into being". Cable News Network. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
  12. ^ a b c d e "GENERAL JOHN W. "JAY" RAYMOND > United States Space Force > Biographies". Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  13. ^ "Twitter". 2018-04-16. Retrieved 2019-12-23.
  14. ^ "Stratcom" (PDF). 2017-12-01. Retrieved 2020-04-10.

  This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document: "".

External linksEdit

Military offices
Preceded by
Jay G. Santee
Commander of the 21st Space Wing
Succeeded by
Stephen N. Whiting
Preceded by
Susan Helms
Commander of the Fourteenth Air Force and the
Joint Functional Component Command for Space

Succeeded by
David J. Buck
Preceded by
Tod D. Wolters
Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations of the United States Air Force
Succeeded by
Mark Nowland
Preceded by
John E. Hyten
Commander of the Air Force Space Command
Command redesignated
New office Commander of the United States Space Command
Succeeded by
James H. Dickinson
New office Chief of Space Operations
Order of precedence
Preceded by
Charles Q. Brown Jr.
as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force
Order of Precedence of the United States
as Chief of Space Operations
Succeeded by
Daniel R. Hokanson
as Chief of the National Guard Bureau