Lieutenant Colonel Jennifer Leigh Blair was born in Columbus, Ga., and grew up in Troy, Ala. After attending Troy State University for two years, she enlisted in the Marine Corps in February of 1985. While serving as an Operations and NATOPS clerk aboard New River Air Station, Jacksonville, N.C., with the Helicopter Medium Training Squadron-204, she graduated from Southern Illinois University with a Bachelor’s degree in Aviation Management. After achieving the rank of Corporal, she participated in an Enlisted Commissioning Program and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in 1988.
In 1989, 2nd Lt. Blair served as Adjutant for Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz. In 1991, she earned a Master’s degree in Management from Webster University, prior to serving temporary duty with 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF) in Saudi Arabia in support of Dessert Storm/Dessert Shield. In 1992, she transferred to Individual Ready Reserves.
In 1992, 1st Lt. Blair served with the Individual Mobilization Augmentees Detachment (IMA Det), Cherry Point, N.C., as an Administrative Officer. While at Cherry Point, in 1996, Capt. Blair was accepted to the Active Reserve Program and was assigned to Headquarters Marine Corps as Head of the Notice of Eligibility Program. In 1998, she reported to Dobbins Naval Air Station, Marietta, Ga., as the Marine Aircraft Group-42 Adjutant. After a tour as Adjutant, she returned to drilling Reserve status attached to the IMA Det, remaining as Group Adjutant.
In 2002, Maj. Blair served as OIC of the Peacetime, Wartime Support Team, Riverton, Utah. In 2003, she was activated in support of Operation Iraq Freedom. After demobilization, Lt. Col. Blair served in the billet as an IMA Reservist until 2005. She transferred to IMA I MEF, Camp Pendleton, Calif., in 2005 as Executive Officer of Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron 3 aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. In 2008, she transferred to the Commanding General of the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Forces Reserve, as an Assistant CG Inspector in a Selected Marine Corps Reserve billet.
In late 2009, Lt. Col. Blair transferred to G-1 Ops, MCB Quantico, Va. In October, she reported to the Marine Expeditionary Brigade-Command Element to serve as the Assistant Chief of Staff for the G-1 in Bahrain. Upon returning from MARCENT (Fwd) in Bahrain, Lt. Col. Blair assumed her assignment as Deputy Joint Base Commander for Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.
Decorations include the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal (2), Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal (4), Southwest Asia Service Medal (3), Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait), National Defense Service Medal (2), Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia), Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (2), Navy Unit Commendation, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and Meritorious Service Medal.
Lt. Col. Blair is married to Lt. Col. (Ret.) Jeffrey John Butler and they have two children: Pike, 16, and Jake, 13.