WEST BLOOMFIELD, MI, US
CPT, TROOP E, 2D SQRN,11TH ARMORED CAV, (2 MEF), FORT IRWIN, CA 92310
04/29/2005, DIYARAH, IRAQ
Ralph John (Jay) Harting III, was born August 19, 1976 in Pontiac, Michigan, to Ralph and June Harting. He was the oldest of their four children followed by Will, Joe and Sarah. Jay was baptized and confirmed at the Orchard Lake Community Church, Presbyterian, and church would be an important part of Jay’s life. Jay and his siblings attended Douglas Houghton Elementary School.
Even at a young age, Jay had such a strong mind, and spirit. Jay enjoyed competition, but was also a team player. He was a very motivated and driven individual; if he wasn’t the best he was willing to learn how to improve. Jay’s strong character was influenced by a number of role models he met through church and sports. Some of his favorite activities included playing soccer, basketball, ice skating, skiing and playing the piano. He was a Boy Scout and a good student in school.
In 1989, Jay’s father’s employer, General Motors, moved the family to Delaware. It was a new adventure for Jay and he was given many new opportunities including playing baritone horn in the school band and singing baritone in the school chorus. Jay received several awards at eighth grade graduation, but he kept a special secret until it was announced that day; he was selected class soloist at the ceremony. He sang “The Wind Beneath My Wings,” dedicating it to his father. He loved soccer and developed into a very strong and skillful player, excelling as a goalkeeper. He played with Delaware Olympic Development State Select teams and with championship travel teams. His greatest triumph was playing goalkeeper for the Salesianum School Varsity team when it won the Class A State High School soccer Championship his senior year. After graduating in 1994, Jay had his choice of colleges. He selected the United States Military Academy at West Point. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant on May 30, 1998.
Lieutenant Harting would go on to complete the Infantry Officer Basic Course, Airborne School and Ranger School and would be assigned to the 1-502nd Infantry Regiment at Fort Campbell, KY. There he served as Rifle Platoon Leader, Mortar Leader, Headquarters Company Executive Officer, and Assistant S-3 Officer.
In 1999 Jay met and later married Jennifer Nazworth. They were married July 7, 2001, in Clarksville, TN. They would have three children, daughter, Adeline, and sons Ralph IV and Warren.
Captain Harting would be assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Irwin, CA. The unit would be deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and while conducting vehicle inspections at a checkpoint in Diyarah; CPT Ralph J Harting III, was killed when the driver of a truck he was inspecting detonated a bomb. Captain Harting’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, and the Global War on Terror Service Medal.