Jason L. Church was born on Fort Knox, Kentucky and grew up in Menomonie, Wisconsin. He attended the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse from 2007 to 2011 where he was a four-year letter winner in football, and an Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) Cadet. After graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science Political Science he was commissioned onto Active Duty in May of 2011 as an Infantry Officer. After completing Infantry Officer’s Basic Course at Fort Benning, Georgia, he reported to C Company, 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat team, 2nd Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. In May 2012, (then) 2nd Lieutenant Church deployed with this unit to Panjwaii District, Afghanistan. The unit’s mission was to establish the legitimacy of Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and further develop the Afghan National Security Forces.
On the 23 August 2012, Lieutenant Church and nine other members of his platoon were engaged by the enemy with an improvised explosive device (IED). He was immediately transported to Kandahar Air Field by helicopter. The IED blast resulted in the amputation of both of Lieutenant Church’s legs below the knee. In the months that followed he underwent 21 surgeries at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, before receiving his prosthetics and going through the recovery process. He was promoted to Captain and medically retired from the Army on 31 July 2014.
He graduated from Georgetown University with a Master of Arts in U.S. Security Policy and attends law school at the University of Wisconsin. He is currently a Regional Director for Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. He received the 2014 NCAA Inspirational Award at the 2014 National Convention.
Captain Church’s military awards and decorations include the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one Bronze Service Star, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Medal, the Combat Infantry Badge, the Parachutist Badge, the Ranger Tab, and the 2nd Infantry Division Combat Service identification Badge.