Jason was born in Pearisburg, Giles County, Virginia, and attended public school in nearby Monroe County, West Virginia. He graduated from Concord College with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Bachelor of Science in Management. Following his undergraduate studies, Jason attended and graduated from the West Virginia University College of Law, where he met the love of his life, his wife Catherine Gardill Ballard. After earning their Juris Doctorates, Jason and Catherine both worked as insurance defense lawyers in Charleston, West Virginia. It was not long after the War on Terror began, however, that Jason felt the call for public service, so he joined the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps.
Jason began his military career with the historic 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) in Fort Drum, New York. While there, Jason served in a variety of positions that included Operational Law Attorney, Military Prosecutor, Brigade Judge Advocate, and Chief of Military Justice. Jason served two combat tours with the 10th Mountain Division – one to Afghanistan and one to Iraq. He was awarded a Bronze Star for his service in Baghdad, Iraq.
After his service in Iraq, Jason and his family moved to Fort Knox, Kentucky, where he served as the post’s Senior Defense Counsel for 2 years. However, his time at Fort Knox was cut short when The Judge Advocate General of the Army (then Lieutenant General Dana K. Chipman) hand-selected Jason to become the first lawyer in the 236-year history of the Army JAG Corps to command the JAG School’s Student Detachment in Charlottesville, Virginia. Jason’s job as the Detachment Commander was to train all new Army Judge Advocates in military tactics, skills, marksmanship, customs, and courtesies. During his command in Charlottesville, Jason trained over 800 military officers as they embarked on new careers on active duty, Army reserves, and various state national guard. Jason was named the U.S. Army’s Young Lawyer of the Year for his time in command.
Following Jason's Army command, he attended a graduate-level program for Army lawyers where he received his Masters of Law (LL.M.) from the Judge Advocate General’s School. Based on his military expertise and performance, Jason was then again hand-selected by the Judge Advocate General of the Army to be the senior lawyer for the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), the unit famously known as the “Night Stalkers,” as depicted in the movie, Black Hawk Down, and for the unit’s unofficial involvement in the Bin Laden raid. While with the Night Stalkers, Jason served 2 combat deployments to various undisclosed locations in the Middle East as part of a Joint Special Operations Task Force comprised of elite units and personnel from all branches of the military and other unnamed government organizations.
Jason is currently a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves. Jason has completed some of the most rigorous and grueling training offered by the U.S. Army, which included: Survival, Evade, Resist, and Escape (S.E.R.E.) training; Green Platoon; DUNKER training; Pathfinder School; Airborne School; Air Assault School; the German Armed Forces Badge of Military Proficiency, and the Combat Lifesavers Course. He recently attended the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and received an advanced degree in strategic studies. Jason's military awards and decorations include Bronze Star Medal; Meritorious Service Medal x 4; Joint Service Commendation Medal; Army Commendation Medal; Joint Service Achievement Medal; Army Achievement Medal; National Defense Service Medal; NATO Medal; Joint Meritorious Unit Award; Meritorious Unit Citation; Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon; Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Afghan Campaign Medal (2 Combat Stars); Iraq Campaign Medal (2 Combat Stars); German Armed Forces Badge of Military Proficiency; Pathfinder Badge; Parachutist Badge; and Air Assault Badge.
Jason is now a civilian trial lawyer with the law firm of Headley Ballard LLC. He is licensed to practice law in Virginia and West Virginia. His firm has offices in Pearisburg, Virginia, and Daniel Island, South Carolina. He specializes in personal injury, medical malpractice, and elevator accident cases on behalf of the injured. He resides in Pearisburg, Virginia, with his wife, Catherine, and they have four children, Sydney, William, James, and John Thomas. Jason is a member of the Pearisburg First United Methodist Church and serves on the Pearisburg Town Council. He is active in his community by serving on multiple boards and committees, as well as volunteering his time to coach youth basketball, football, baseball, and golf. He is an active member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Military Officers Association of America, and Night Stalker Association.
Use of military rank, job titles, and photographs in uniform does not imply endorsement by the Department of Defense.
Paid for by Ballard for Delegate