Jason joined the Navy in 2003 spending his 21st birthday in boot camp. After eight weeks of extensive training, 471 recruits graduated with Jason ranked as the number 1 graduating recruit. During the graduation ceremony Jason was presented the Navy Club United States Military Excellence award. The Navy commander officiating that day said that he could see great things in the future of this young recruit.
Following basic training Jason was assigned to the USS Ronald Reagan as an Interior Communications Electrician. During this two-year tour, the Reagan was deployed to the Middle East in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom.
In 2006, Jason began the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) training, graduating EOD school in September of 2007. Reporting to Mobile Unit Three that next November, Jason was immediately assigned to a Counter Improvised Explosive Device (IED) response company. Six months after being assigned to the company he deployed to Iraq to conduct Counter IED operations. During that deployment, Jason served as a team member on a response element that conducted 32 IED responses and removed over 18,000 pounds of enemy ordnance from the battlefield. During this deployment, Jason had already been identified as a leader amongst his peers.
Returning from the Iraq deployment, he was assigned to serve as an EOD Platoon Team Leader that would begin training to support Naval Special Warfare. He excelled as an EOD Team leader and during this time of intense training he also completed his qualification as a Senior EOD Technician.
Next came integration training with Navy SEALS, where he and his team were required to physically perform at a Navy SEAL level but with the added responsibility of being the team’s explosive ordnance specialists. Jason deployed with Seal Team Three to Afghanistan in March of 2010. Here the team supported 30 direct action missions and 28 combat reconnaissance patrols which resulted in the capture of 31 insurgents and the destruction of 7 IEDs. Additionally, Jason served as the U.S. military instructor of IED identification and response tactics for the Afghan Security Forces. While in Afghanistan-- Jason was promoted to a First Class Petty Officer.
After the Afghanistan deployment, Jason was assigned a 6-month deployment as the Leading Petty Officer aboard the USS Carl Vinson.
In November 2011, Jason was assigned shore duty and reported to EOD Mobile Unit THREE in Coronado. His area of responsibility was to be part of the team that would provide EOD response to the entire Southwest Region. It was during this time that in 2013 he earned his Master Explosive Ordnance Disposal qualification and received a personal invitation from the SEALS command unit to screen for a permanent spot on Seal Team 6. After passing all qualifications Jason made a personal choice to decline the position. Above all, he was first a husband and a father who always made sure his family was taken care. He felt this commitment would pull him from his family for even longer periods of time. Shortly after he was advanced to his current rank of CHIEF Petty Officer.
In May of 2015 Jason was asked to terminate shore duty early to serve as the Leading Chief Petty Officer for a EOD platoon preparing to deploy to Iraq-- a position he readily accepted.
During the work-ups for this deployment Jason’s team excelled. Receiving accolades as the best Naval Special Warfare EOD platoon to come through training in the last three years. Due to his hard work over the past year Jason had been ranked as the number ONE Chief Petty Officer within Mobile Unit THREE and was slated to be promoted to the rank of SENIOR Chief Petty Officer this coming spring.
In August 2016 he deployed to Iraq with SEAL Team FIVE. The mission was to advise and assist the Iraqi counter-terrorism army in the offensive to reclaim the city of Mosul from ISIS. In the first 2 months of this deployment, his team supported 20 combat operations.
On October 20, 2016, Jason and his teammates came under sustained automatic weapon, mortar, and rocket propelled grenade fire during a 10-hour firefight. Throughout the engagement, Jason continuously exposed himself to heavy fire in order to engage the enemy and clear the fighting positions of explosive devices. Jason’s bravery enabled his comrades to defeat multiple waves of enemy suicide bombers. After identifying multiple IED belts buried in the sand, he personally guided three vehicles to safety from the all-terrain vehicle he was riding in. As the last vehicle reached safety, a second IED belt was detonated under the vehicle he was riding-- mortally wounding Jason. His actions that day saved the lives of his teammates and exceeded all measures of selflessness and devotion to this country.
Jason has left behind a legacy that will always be remembered and that current and future EOD specialists will do well to emulate. He was a highly-decorated warrior who had excelled within every command and position he held. In the 9 years within the EOD community he had achieved every supervisory qualification obtainable and displayed a level of operational ambition, courage, and focused determination that was second to none. In his Navy career of 13 years, Jason earned 18 medals. The final two medals were awarded to his family in November 2016. They were the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star with Valor. By his extraordinary and total dedication to duty, Chief Petty Officer Jason Finan reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Navy.
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