Senior Airman Jason Plite was born April 13, 1981 in Grand Rapids Michigan. During his high school years, Jason was a " Jack of all-trades," as he was both a gifted artist and a powerful athlete. Whether it was painting murals or earning his black belt in karate, Jason was a disciplined and dedicated student. His leadership and motivation to excel were apparent early on when Jason captained his Varsity swim team, a sport he still holds records in today, the 200 Freestyle relay, won in 1997.Early physical conditioning would later aid him in helping others.
After Graduating from Grand Ledge High School in 1999, he enlisted in the United States Air Force. At first he sought to pursue a career as a firefighter, but then Jason learned of the Pararescue profession and never looked back. After graduating Basic Training with honors, Jason began his PJ training with the Air Force Indoctrination Course, A US Navy Special Forces Combat Divers Course, and a Military Free Fall School. He was awarded the Charles D. King award for excellence in academic performance, and leadership. In addition, Jason also successfully completed the Army Basic Airborne School, Air Force Survival School, Paramedic Upgrade Course, John F. Kennedy Warfare Center's Joint Special Operations Medical Training Course, and the Pararescue Recovery Apprentice Course. Jason Received his Maroon Beret in March 2002. Jason received his first duty assignment to the 38th Rescue Squadron out of Moody AFB, Georgia. His performance as a world wide recovery expert enabled him to perform rescue and recovery of distressed personnel from temperate, arctic, desert, mountainous, and open sea environments. He also performed as a medical evacuation rescue team member in direct support of NASA trans-oceanic abort landing sites providing the DOD with an emergency astronaut recovery capability. Jason was a vital contributor in his unit's wide ranging support of the 347th Rescue Wing and Air Force mission. Just the day prior to the crash, Jason had helped save 3 critically injured Afgani Nationals. Plites awards include the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, The National Defense Service Medal, The Air Medal, and the Air Force Training Ribbon. Jason is survived by his parents, Charlie & Dawn Peterson; Tom & Geralyn Plite; sisters: Alyssa, and Shaynah Peterson; brothers, Patrick and Michael Plite, and the Air Force Pararescue family