A native of Wisconsin, Jay was raised in and around the Milwaukee metro area with his four siblings. He attended the University of Wisconsin Lacrosse on an ROTC scholarship, graduating with a Bachelors of Science. After graduation, he was commissioned as a Medical Admin. Officer in 1991 and went on Active Duty. He attended the Officer Basic Course at Fort Sam in Houston, Texas. He PCSed to Germany in August of 1991 where he was assigned to 4/7 Cavalry 3rd ACR in Beudingen, Germany, where he served until 1993 as the squadron medical platoon leader.
He was then promoted and transferred to 1/1 Cavalry 3rd ACR and was eventually put in command of 2nd Dental Group and acted as the OIC of the 7th Medical Command’s Expert Field Medical Badge testing. After earning this EFMB, he was transferred to Frankfurt, Germany, to the 97th general hospital where he acted as the training officer in the Planning Operations and Training Department for the hospital.
During this time, Jay applied and was accepted to the US Army rotary aircraft training program. In 1994 he moved to Fort Lee, Virginia, and then Fort Sam, Houston, to complete the Advanced Officer Combined Logistics and Medical course. He immediately proceeded to Ft. Rucker, Alabama, where he enrolled in the US Army helicopter program. While enrolled, he was promoted to captain and acted as his class commander.
After completing his initial training in 1995, Jay proceeded to the Blackhawk transition course. In 1996, he moved to Ft. Carson, Colorado, where he was assigned to the 571st Medical Company Air Ambulance, 3/3 Cavalry. He served as the medical platoon leader, operations officer, and troop executive officer. In 1997, he deployed several attachment rotations through “Operation Provide Comfort” to Kuwait City, Kuwait.
Jay took an early retirement and separated from the Army in 1999, and permanently settle in Colorado Springs, CO, with his wife, Marlo Garvens, and two children, Asher and Ella.