|Service:||United States Army|
|Awards:||Purple Heart, Combat Action Badge, Army Commendation Medal, War on Terrorism Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal and the Armed Forces Reserves M|
Jason Johns is an avid outdoorsmen who has been fishing since he was 3 years old, and hunting since he was old enough to get his Hunter’s Safety certification at the young age of 12.
Jason served in the WI Army National Guard and United States Army Reserves from 1994-2002. In February 2003 his Army National Guard unit, the 229th Combat Support Engineers, were mobilized for service in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He voluntarily left his civilian life and re-enlisted to join them during their combat tour with the 4th Infantry Division from 2003-04.
Johns’s unit base camped outside of Saddam’s hometown of Tikrit and ran convoy missions, force protection assignments, roadside checkpoints, IED sweep and detection missions, forward operating base establishment and build -ups, as well as infantry and MP patrol support. Their area of operation spanned the Sunni insurgent enclaves of Tikrit, Samarra, Balad, Baqubah and at times over to the mountainous region bordering Iran in the east. On the morning of 26 Oct 2003, while assuming control of a checkpoint north of Samarra, Johns and a fellow squad member were wounded by the detonation of an anti-tank land mine planted by enemy forces. Johns was sent to a field hospital for blast but was able to remain in country and after adequate recovery time at base camp he completed his tour of duty in April 2004, earning a Purple Heart, Combat Action Badge, Army Commendation Medal, War on Terrorism Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal and the Armed Forces Reserves Medal with an “M” for meritorious service.
Jason grew up in Louisburg, WI as the oldest of five siblings and graduated from Southwestern High School in Hazel Green in May 1994. He earned his B.A. in History from the University of Northern Iowa in May 1998 where he was an active player on the UNI Men’s Rugby Team. He then went on to earn his Juris Doctorate with an international law certificate from Hamline University School of Law in May 2001. After completing his education he practiced law in Washington, D.C. before returning home to Wisconsin to pursue an opportunity working in the Wisconsin State Legislature in December 2002.
In the years since his return from Iraq, Jason has worked in state government relations and lobbying, eventually establishing his own firm, Wisconsin Legislative Strategies, Inc, in 2009. He has served for years as commander of his local VFW Post and currently serves as the state Legislative Officer for the Military Order of the Purple Heart, the Co-Chair of the VFW Legislative Committee, and the Vice-Chair of the American Legion Legislative committee. He is also a member of the Wounded Warrior Project Alumnus program, serves on the board of directors for Dryhootch of America & is an advisory board member for the Dane County Veterans Law Center which provides free civil legal services for veterans and their families. Jason is also an avid Harley Davidson rider and member of the American Legion Riders and Patriot Guard Riders.
Most recently, Jason served as the Deputy Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs having been appointed to that post by Governor Scott Walker in August 2011. Due to the severely premature birth of his son Jason resigned this post in July 2012 and has returned to the private sector where he recently joined Nation Consulting, as a Partner-Director of Government Relations.
Jason’s other community service includes being a Member of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition’s Veterans For Smart Power National Steering Committee; Member of the International Law Students Association Board of Directors and long-time judge with the Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition; consultant for the USAID Access to Justice Program in Iraq (having returned there in 2010 & again in January of 2013 with the US State Department to work with young Iraqi law students) ; Past President of the Oregon Area Chamber of Commerce; Village of Oregon Zoning Board of Appeals and Outreach and Strategic Planning Committee.
Jason, his wife Carin, their 3 year old twin daughters Abby & Ellie, and their new son William reside just outside of Madison in the Village of Oregon.