Jay Lindell was born on August 15, 1956. He entered the U.S. Air Force Academy in June 1974, and was commissioned a 2d Lt on May 31, 1978. Lt Lindell next completed Undergraduate Pilot Training and was awarded his pilot wings at Williams AFB, Arizona, in October 1979, and then completed F-111 Aardvark Combat Crew Training before serving as an instructor pilot with the F-111 Fighter Weapons School and the 389th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, from January 1980 to March 1983. His next assignment was as an F-111F pilot with the 493rd Tactical Fighter Squadron of the 48th Tactical Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath, England, from April 1983 to September 1987. During this time, Capt Lindell was one of the pilots that participated in the air strike against targets in Libya during Operation Eldorado Canyon on April 15, 1986. After completing F-16 Falcon upgrade training, he served with the 4th Tactical Fighter Squadron of the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing at Hill AFB, Utah, from January 1988 to May 1991. During this time he deployed with his unit to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm from August 1990 to March 1991. Maj Lindell attended U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, from June 1991 to June 1992, and then served on the staff of Headquarters Air Combat Command at Langley AFB, Virginia, from July 1992 to June 1994. Col Lindell next attended Air War College at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, from July 1994 to June 1995, followed by service as director of operations for the 353rd Combat Training Squadron of the 354th Fighter Wing at Eielson AFB, Alaska, from October 1995 to January 1997. His next assignment was as commander of the 35th Fighter Squadron of the 8th Fighter Wing at Kunsan AB, South Korea, from February 1987 to March 1998, and then as deputy commander and then commander of the 27th Operations Group of the 27th Fighter Wing at Cannon AFB, New Mexico, from April 1988 to June 2001. He served on the staff of Headquarters U.S. European Command at Stuttgart, Germany, from July 2001 to February 2004, followed by service on the staff of Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe at Ramstein AB, Germany, from March 2004 to May 2006. Gen Lindell served as commandant of Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell AFB from June 2006 to August 2007, and then served as deputy commanding general of the Combined Air Power Transition Force, Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, from September 2007 to September 2008. Gen Lindell's final assignment was as director of Global Power Programs in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition with Headquarters U.S. Air Force in the Pentagon from October 2008 until his retirement from the Air Force on January 1, 2012.
His Silver Star Citation reads:
Major Jay H. Lindell distinguished himself by gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force as an F-16 Fighter Pilot near Ar Rumaytha, Iraq on 25 February 1991. On that date, Major Lindell directly prevented the capture or death of an eight-man Special Operations Forces team on a reconnaissance mission more than 200 miles beyond enemy lines. Major Lindell descended below a low cloud deck into the heart of the antiaircraft artillery envelope and helped located the eight-man Special Operations Forces team being overrun by Iraqi troops. During three separate one hour periods, he brought his ordnance to bear on the attacking force, stopping their advance and allowing the successful extraction of the Special Operations Forces team. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Major Lindell has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.