Spending 20 plus years with one organization and being able to retire is in itself an accomplishment, but for one soon to be retiree it will be another notch in a career full of notable accomplishments.Preston Palmer, a pattern maker with the at Fort Jackson’s Training Support Center will be retiring this month after over 35 years on Fort Jackson. The post’s Training Support Center, part of the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security, has one of the Army’s only machines capable of creating training aids in house.Ronaldo Redd, production manager at DPTMS and Palmer’s supervisor, said Palmer has made a significant contribution because Fort Jackson fabricates products Army wide.“What we produce here at Fort Jackson gets shipped to all the different installations…so what he does doesn’t just affect Fort Jackson, it affects the whole Army,” Redd said.Palmer, born and raised in South Carolina, grew up working at a gas station his father owned, and spending seven years as a welder before coming to Fort Jackson. His youngest brother, Peter Palmer, 17 years his junior, has been working in the same shop for the last 20 years.Palmer began working on Fort Jackson in March of 1985 in heavy equipment before transferring to training aids three years later.Self-taught, Palmer is always learning new programs and figuring out a faster and cheaper way to make something, he said.“I’m a self-taught machinist, self-taught welder,” Palmer said. “I grew up fixing small engines and chainsaws and cars. I wasn’t old enough to drive but I could tune up a car,”Palmer said one of his simplest solutions at work actually saved the most money. The dime washers used for training basic rifle marksmanship used to be made by hand at a rate of 100 units per day.“I said that looks like a golf tee, I’ll make them out of plastic, he said. Palmer developed a mold that would automatically make 3,000 dime washers-a-day. “Ten of them cost about 5 cents.” It was such an improvement that Palmer received a cash award, one of seven he earned over the span of his career.By watching him work, figuring out the best way to create the necessary parts, most efficiently and inexpensively, it’s evident Palmer sees each task as a fun challenge. “I used to go to Walmart and look at toys when I was figuring out molds a long time ago,” Palmer said.Although he said he hasn’t been keeping count, he estimates he has made molds for more than 100 different items including a compass, chamber checker, rifles, bayonet targets, and pugil sticks. Palmer remembers the brass deflector was the first compound mold he ever did.Palmer said at almost 67 years old, it’s time to retire.“I’ve outlasted everybody,” Palmer said. “Everybody I started with – everybody that was here is gone.”He’s been racing vintage motorcycles for the last six years and said retiring will give him more time for his trips. He races a 1951 Triumph motorcycle and has been riding it since he was 3 years old.“I’ve got one race in California this year,” he said. “… I was thinking of staying at the Grand Canyon for a week or two on the way.”He already has 12 races on his calendar over the coming year.