|Colonel John "Jay" Harris, Jr.
Colonel John “Jay” Harris, Jr. enlisted in the United States Navy Reserve in 1985, and was subsequently commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps through Officer’s Candidate School in Quantico, VA in April 1991. Colonel Harris possesses both Infantry and Artillery Combat Arms Military Occupational Specialties, and currently serves as the Deputy Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group THREE.
After commissioning and initial training, Colonel Harris’ first assignment was with 3rd Battalion, 11th Marines, 1st Marine Division where he served as a Platoon Commander, Forward Observer, Artillery Liaison Officer, and Assistant Battalion Logistics Officer. In December 1992, he deployed as a Rifle Platoon Commander to Mogadishu, Somalia in support of OPERATION RESTORE HOPE.
From 1995-2000, Colonel Harris served in 3rd Battalion, 23rd Marines. During this tenure he temporarily served as a staff officer for Marine Forces Pacific. In January 2001, he was appointed Executive Officer of Company I, 3rd Battalion, 23rd Marines in which he also served as a Liaison Officer to eight European countries during exercise RESCUER 02 in Lithuania.
Colonel Harris assumed command of Company I, 3rd Battalion, 23rd Marines in September 2002. He and his company deployed to Iraq from September 2002 until October 2003 for OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM.
Following Company Command, Colonel Harris has served at Headquarters Marine Forces Reserve, 4th Reconnaissance Battalion, Joint Staff Information Operations Warfare Center, and I Marine Expeditionary Force. During these commands he has served in both G-3 and G-5 capacities as well Executive Officer and Acting Commanding Officer for the 4th Reconnaissance Battalion.
Colonel Harris holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Texas, San Antonio and is authorized to wear the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat “V”, Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon with gold star, and Presidential Unit Citation. Additionally, he has been awarded the Order of Saint Barbara for his innovative integration of 105mm firing unit capabilities into Light Armored Vehicle operating procedures.