Plainfield graduate promoted to brigadier general of Air Force Reserve

By Lindsay Doty

Brig. Gen. Robert Palmer (submitted photo)

Plainfield High School graduate, Rob Palmer, was promoted to a one-star brigadier general of the Air Force Reserve. The 1986 graduate and Plainfield native is an Air Force and Army veteran. Palmer took part in a public ceremony on Jan. 10 in Washington D.C. The U.S. Senate confirmed his promotion in November.

“It is both a tremendous honor and deeply humbling, and I know that I could have never done this without the help and mentorship of the unbelievable men and women with whom I’ve served,” Palmer said.

Friends and former classmates from Plainfield cheered on his promotion on social media. Palmer quickly sent back a humble thank you.

In his military career, Palmer spends around 30 days a year working at the Pentagon as the mobilization assistant to the Air Force Director of Public Affairs, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force.   He is responsible for providing public affairs policy and communications strategies to the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force and other senior Air Force leaders on critical issues including recruiting, readiness, operations, force structure and personnel.

In his civilian job, he is the vice president of government relations at WPS Health Solutions (Wisconsin Physicians Service Insurance Corporation) based in Madison, WI.

Through the years, he says one of the greatest challenges has been balancing work, military and home life.

Since childhood, Palmer knew he wanted to serve in the military. His dad was an Army Reservist when he was born. After graduating high school, Palmer received an OTC scholarship and served in the Army National Guard until 2003 and then joined the Air Force Reserve.

He and his wife live in Wisconsin and have two sons.

Palmer earned a master’s degree in international affairs from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Massachusetts. He also earned a master’s degree from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science from The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina.

Palmer joined WPS Health Solutions in August 2015.