In the Autumn of 2005, Jordan Clay came home to New Canaan to visit his parents. He was 23 years old, living in New York City and working at Merrill Lynch in White Plains, NY. He held his mother’s hand and told her that he had applied to the USMC Officer Candidate School to become a Marine officer. When his mother asked him why, he said he wanted to serve his country, pursue the people responsible for 9/11, and to become the type of person and leader the Marine Corps would help him to become.
Clay, now 30, graduated from in 2000 and the University of Colorado in 2004. He left his job at Merrill Lynch to enter Officer Candidate School in Quantico, VA in 2007, followed with 6-months Basic Training (TBS). He was eventually deployed in a Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) on a Navy Helicopter Assault Ship to the Persian Gulf. Upon return he was promoted to First Lieutenant and became Second in Command of his Company.
A second deployment to the Helmand Province in Afghanistan in 2008 put Clay in combat circumstances and in 2009 he was promoted to Captain and became Commanding Officer of a company at the School of Infantry.
In addition to his duties, Clay received an MBA from Boston University through an on-base program.
Phil Clay, Jordan's father, describes his son as having, "A quiet confidence, an aura about him, but without conceit," which he attributes to Jordan's extensive training and experience in handling difficult circumstances at a young age.
Clay retired from active service on Nov. 1, and will remain in the Individual Ready Reserves (IRR) for two years. He is living and working in Pittsburgh with his wife, Katie, and their 13-month old daughter, Peyton.
Clay offered a quote from the book, "One Bullet Away," by USMC Retired Capt. Nathanial Fick to explain what service means to him, "The intangible honor and pride of being a Marine officer outweighed all the adversity."
(Editor's Note: Information in this profile was provided by Jordan's parents, Lydia and Phil Clay.)