Inspirational leader. Trusted advisor. Epitome of Clemson’s rich military heritage.

Jay Raymond, an Air Force ROTC Distinguished Graduate, earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a lieutenant’s commission in 1984. Now a four-star general, he is the highest-ranking military leader, in any branch of service, to graduate from Clemson.

When the U.S. Space Force was established in 2019 as the first new military service since the creation of the Air Force in 1947, Jay was appointed Chief of Space Operations. As Chief, he serves as the senior uniformed Space Force officer responsible for the organization, training and equipping of all organic and assigned space forces serving in the United States and overseas. He is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, providing senior uniformed advice to the President and Secretary of Defense.

The U.S. Space Force mission is to organize, train, and equip Guardians to conduct global space operations that enhance the way our joint and coalition forces fight, while also offering decision makers military options to achieve national objectives.

During 38 years of military service, Jay has held numerous key national security and command positions. Among them, he is the only non-pilot in history to serve as the Air Force’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations. He served in the Middle East in support of U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. His leadership of U.S. humanitarian and relief efforts in Japan during its 2011 earthquake disaster was recognized by citations from the Japanese government. He was also awarded the French National Order of Merit for his contributions to French and American military cooperation.

Jay has spoken to thousands of Clemson students, faculty members and graduates in settings ranging from ROTC commissioning ceremonies on campus to alumni gatherings in the Washington, D.C., area. He is a donor for both academic and athletic programs, and he sponsors an annual scholarship for Clemson Air Force ROTC cadets.

He has hosted Clemson alumni serving on active duty for dinner in his home, and he represented the U.S. Air Force on the field during the Tigers’ victorious appearance in the 2016 Fiesta Bowl. In 2018, he accompanied Col. Ben Skardon (promoted to the rank of honorary Brigadier General in 2021) in the annual Bataan Memorial Death March in New Mexico.

He regularly presents educational remarks on national security and space operations to community and school groups. He engages local, state and national leaders to highlight the needs of military members and their families.

Jay and his wife, Mollie, have two daughters, Christina and Amy, and a son, Garry.Top of FormBottom of Form