Lieutenant Colonel J. D. Thornburg enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve in 1994. After completing Marine Combat Training and Basic Engineer Equipment Operators Course in 1995, he was assigned to Alpha Company, 4th Combat Engineer Battalion in Crosslanes, WV. After graduating from Marshall University in 1999, he attended Officer Candidate School (OCS) and was commissioned in August of 2000. He completed The Basic School in April of 2001 and was assigned to Headquarters and Service Battalion, 2d Force Service Support Group (FSSG), completed the Logistics Officer’s Course and served as the assistant Logistics Officer and Battalion Logistics Officer.
From February to July 2003, while deployed in support of Operation(s) ENDURING FREEDOM (OEF) and IRAQI FREEDOM (OIF), First Lieutenant Thornburg supported the Marine Logistics Command as the Assistant Logistics Officer for Headquarters and Service Battalion, and the Operations Officer for Marine Logistics Command Support Detachment -1.
In June 2004, First Lieutenant Thornburg was reassigned to 3d Reconnaissance Battalion, 3d Marine Division where he deployed in support of OIF in 2005 as the Battalion Logistics Officer and again in 2006 as the Headquarters and Service Company Commander.
In June 2008, Captain Thornburg graduated from Expeditionary Warfare School (EWS) and received his follow-on assignment to Marine Forces, Special Operations Command (MARSOC) where he served as both the Assistant Operations Officer and the Logistics Officer for Marine Special Operations Support Group (MSOSG). In 2010, he was reassigned to the Marine Special Operations Regiment (MSOR) where he was promoted to Major in 2011, and served as both the Assistant Logistics Officer and Regimental Logistics Officer until June of 2012.
After graduating with distinction from the Marine Corps Command and Staff College in 2013, Major Thornburg was assigned to Headquarters Marine Corps, Plans, Policies and Operations (PP&O), Policy and Operations Special Operations Directorate (PO-SOD) where he served as an action officer and as the Deputy MARSOC Advocate.
In June of 2015, Major Thornburg reported to the 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) where he served as the MEU Logistics Officer. Deploying in June of 2016, he participated in operations across U. S. European Command, U. S. Central Command, and U. S. Africa Command areas of responsibility, to include Operation ODYSSEY LIGHTNING. Upon completion of his assignment at 22d MEU, Major Thornburg was reassigned to Headquarters, United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). Promoted in September 2017, Lieutenant Colonel Thornburg served as the Chief of Logistics Plans, J43/5 in the Directorate of Logistics.
Lieutenant Colonel Thornburg’s personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with two Gold Stars, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with one Gold Star, and the Navy Achievement Medal.