Colonel Palma was commissioned through the Platoon Leaders Class after graduating from Saint Anselm College of Manchester, New Hampshire in December 1994.
A career infantry officer, his assignments in the operating forces include Rifle Platoon Commander, Weapons Platoon Commander, Company Executive Officer, 81mm Mortar Platoon Commander, Rifle Company Commander, and Battalion Commander in 3d Battalion, 3d Marines, during which he deployed in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM; Second-in-Command Kilo Company, 42 Commando, Royal Marines, during which he deployed in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM; Executive and Operations Officer, 1st Force Reconnaissance Company, during which he deployed in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM; Current Operations Director, Combined Joint Task Force 101, during which he deployed in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM; and Operations Officer, 3d Marine Regiment.
Other assignments include Staff Platoon Commander and Commanding Officer for the Professional Training of Midshipmen, The Basic School in Quantico, Virginia; Aide-de-Camp to the Commanding General I Marine Expeditionary Force; Experiment Director, Navy Warfare Development Command; Future
Operations Planner, Marine Forces Pacific G5; Military Professor, Maritime Advanced Warfighting School, Naval War College; and Strategy and Campaign Plans Division Chief, NORAD and USNORTHCOM J5.
Colonel Palma graduated with honors from: The Basic School; Infantry Officers Course; Amphibious Warfare School; The All Arms Commando Course, where he was the recipient of the Commando Medal; College of Naval Command and Staff; Maritime Advanced Warfighting School, where he was the recipient of the Vice Admiral Charles H. “Soc” McMorris Award as the Honor Graduate; and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Defense College in Rome, Italy.
His personal decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal with a gold star in lieu of 2d award, Meritorious Service Medal with gold star in lieu of 2d award, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal with two gold stars in lieu of 3d award, and Joint Service Achievement Medal.