2018 Tillman Scholar

John Palmer

Northwestern University

“I want to create unique opportunities for veterans to leverage their indomitable spirit and extraordinary talents.”

John joined the Army to do his part to ensure the freedoms that his grandfathers, aunts, uncles and brothers fought for will endure for future generations. West Point and Ranger School ingrained the values of service and sacrifice into every facet of his life. It was leading soldiers through three combat deployments, however, that showed John the true meaning of sacrifice. Whether securing two Afghan districts from Taliban control, or training hundreds of Jordanian troops to combat the Islamic State, the courage, dedication and perseverance of the soldiers he was privileged to lead stoked in him a determination to honor them by continuing to serve his nation and his fellow veterans in civilian life. For John, leadership is service.

John looks forward to applying the experience gained as an Army Officer to the business world. He wants to graduate from the Northwestern Kellogg School of Management with the technical expertise to pair with the leadership skills he honed in the military. John’s vision is to start his own venture capital firm to invest in veteran startup companies, empowering veterans to achieve their own dreams and to continue to serve as exemplars of what it means to be a citizen. By connecting veteran entrepreneurs to a network that can help them realize their ambitions, he will not only assist them in building a solid foundation for life, but guarantee that their talents, abilities and warrior spirit are not lost to their community.