Colonel Lemons, a native of Lenoir City, TN, enlisted in the Marine Corps and served as a combat engineer in February 1987 until he was commissioned in December 1988. Following completion of The Basic School and the Combat Engineer Officer’s Course, Colonel Lemons served as a Platoon Commander, Company Executive Officer and Company Commander with 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion, Okinawa, Japan from 1991 through 1992. From 1993 to 1995, he served as Facilities Maintenance Officer at Marine Corps Logistics Base, Barstow, California.
After completing Amphibious Warfare School in June 1996, Colonel Lemons assumed command of Bravo Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. In April 1997, he deployed with Bravo Company as a Joint Task Force Commander with a U.S. Army medical unit, Grenada Special Forces, Grenada Police Forces, and Grenada Coast Guard attached for humanitarian drought relief and exercise related construction projects.
Upon return from the Grenada deployment, Colonel Lemons served as the Operations Officer until deploying to Bosnia with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) in early 1997 where he served as the MEU Engineer Officer and Force Protection Officer. After returning from Bosnia, he served again as the Operations Officer until assuming command of Engineer Support Company August 1998. He deployed in October 1998 as the Joint Task Force Engineer for hurricane relief operations for Puerto Rico, Dominion Republic, and Haiti. In May 1999, Colonel Lemons deployed to Albania/Kosovo where he served as part of a joint recon team. After his return in June 1999, he served as the Battalion Executive Officer.
In August 1999, Colonel Lemons was assigned to Inspector-Instructor (I&I) Bridge Company A and Engineer Support Company, Battle Creek, Michigan, 6th Engineering Support Battalion from 1999 to 2002.
After I&I duty, he attended the Marine Corps Command and Staff College starting in August 2002. In February 2003, he reported to the C-7, Coalition Force Land Component Command (CFLCC), Kuwait as an Engineer Plans Officer for OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM.
Starting in July 2003, Colonel Lemons concurrently served as the Force Protection Engineer and the Plans and Policy Chief, J3, Force Protection, USCENTCOM. From March through July 2004, he worked concurrently as CENTCOM’s Force Protection Engineer and was assigned to Joint Task Force – 7 (stood up as Multi-National Corps – Iraq in May 2004), as the Force Protection Officer for OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM.
In July 2006, Lieutenant Colonel Lemons reported to Marine Wing Support Group (MWSG) 27 at Cherry Point and served as the Operations Officer until assuming command of Marine Wing Support Squadron (MWSS) 274 in November 2006. In February 2008, he deployed as the Commanding Officer of MWSS 274 to Iraq with assigned tasks as a provisional infantry battalion. After the deployment, he relinquished command in November 2008 and served as the MWSG – 27, Executive Officer until reporting in August 2009 as the Marine Corps Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council, Washington, D.C. He served as the Director, Cyber Integration Division, Combat Development Directorate, Marine Corps Combat Development and Integration from July 2010 until June 2013. He then assumed command of Combat Logistics Regiment 45 until August 2015. His next assignment was the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-4, III Marine Expeditionary Force until July 2017. His current assignment is the Chief of Staff, Marine Corps University.
Colonel Lemons’ person awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Medal (2), Meritorious Service Medal (2), Joint Commendation Medal (3), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (2), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and the Army Achievement Medal.
In addition to the Marine Corps Schools attended, Colonel Lemons has attended Public Works Officers’ Course, Advanced Logistics Officers’ Course, and the Air War College (Non-resident).