In 1984, Jim Palmersheim earned his bachelor’s degree and received a Regular Army Commission as a Distinguished Military Graduate of the Army ROTC Program at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was selected for follow-on training as an Aviation Intelligence Officer and subsequently transitioned to the RU-21H and OV-1D Reconnaissance aircraft. Jim left active duty in January 1990 to pursue a career as a pilot with American Airlines. With the exception of a recall to active duty in 1991 in support of Operation Desert Shield/Storm, Jim served in the US Army Reserves until 1995 flying UH-1H Huey Helicopters.
In 2004, Jim spearheaded the delivery and donation of a Huey 091 to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, "The Price of Freedom, Americans at War." Jim serves as an advisory role to the Huey 091 Foundation and on the board of Snowball Express. Jim served as Honorary Commander 457th Fighter Squadron, NAS JRB Fort Worth from 2010-2011 and in 2010 was named an Honorary Nightstalker with the Army's 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment based at Fort Campbell Kentucky.
In 2007, Jim was named Managing Director of Veterans Initiatives at American Airlines. Jim and his wife Patricia reside in Colleyville, Texas with their daughter Lauren. Their son Josh is a Captain in the Army and served in Iraq and Afghanistan as Pilot in Command of the Army RC-12 aircraft.