Major General Jerry D. Holmes, U.S. Air Force, was born 14 July 1935 in Jenks, Oklahoma and raised in Wewoka, Oklahoma. He graduated Wewoka High School in 1953. In 1958 he graduated The University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geological Engineering and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force through the U.S. Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). In 1964 he graduated The University of Oklahoma with a Master of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering. He completed Squadron Officer School in 1965, graduated the U.S. National War College in 1976, and in 1985, graduated The Harvard University Program for Senior Executives in National and International Security.
In September 1966 he was transferred to Royal Air Force Station, Upper Heyford, England. There, he served as an RF-101 pilot and standardization and evaluation flight examiner with the 66th Tactical
Reconnaissance Wing. From October 1969 to October 1970 he flew 135 combat missions over all of Vietnam in RF-101 and RF-4 aircraft from Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Republic of South Vietnam.
MajGen Holmes' military awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, U.S. Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Medal with six Oak Leaf Clusters, U.S. Air Force Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Outstanding Unit Award with "V" for Valor in combat.