Reserve Affairs

The Office of the Assistant Secretary Defense

Mr. Jason W. Forrester

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Reserve Affairs (Manpower & Personnel)

Mr. Jason W. ForresterJason W. Forrester serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Manpower and Personnel) in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Reserve Affairs). Jason is responsible for Reserve component manpower, personnel, compensation, and medical matters, as well as multiple related functions that support the 1.1 million members of the National Guard and Reserve.

From 2011-2013, Jason served as Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower & Reserve Affairs), where he spearheaded Army-wide and interagency efforts to create a career-ready military, as directed by President Obama.

From 2009-2011, Jason served in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Legislative Affairs) as: Advisor for DoD’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” review; Team Chief (Personnel & Readiness); and on the Efficiencies Initiative (reprioritizing DoD resources).

From 2007-2009, Jason worked for Veterans for America (VFA), where he testified before Congress and the President’s Commission on Wounded Warriors. Twice between 2004-2009, Jason was a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). In 2006, he directed The Carter Center’s Elections Observation Presence in Guyana.

From 2005-2006, Jason was Legislative Assistant to Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV). In 2003-2004, he served on General Wesley Clark's presidential campaign and the Kerry-Edwards national security team. From 1999-2000, he was a member of the Gore-Lieberman national security team.

From 2001- 2003, he was Research Director for the Nuclear Threat Reduction Campaign, a project of the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation. From 1998-2001, Jason was a researcher in the Foreign Policy Studies Program of the Brookings Institution. His first job in Washington was on the staff of the Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict.

Jason is a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He received an M.A.L.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and was graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in political science from the Sewanee: The University of the South. He was named Sewanee’s Distinguished Young Alumnus for 2008.

Jason has received a Thomas J. Watson Foundation Fellowship, an NCAA postgraduate scholarship, and was named a National Football Foundation & College Football Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete.