Jesse Marcel Jr. joined the US Navy in 1962 and was assigned to the USS Renville (APA 227) and shortly thereafter participated in the Cuban Missile Crisis attached to combat units as member of ship's company. Later he completed specialty training in Otolaryngology at the Naval Hospital, San Diego, California. He then retired from the Navy in July of 1971 and entered private practice in Helena, Montana. He joined the Montana Army National Guard in 1973, went through helicopter flight training as a flight surgeon at Ft. Rucker, Alabama earning his wings in 1981. During his career in the National Guard, he was appointed State Surgeon of the State of Montana and retired from the military the second time in August of 1996 on his 60th birthday.
The Iraqi war required his being called back to active duty in October of 2004, shortly after his 68th birthday. He then served as a flight surgeon for the 189th Attack Helicopter Battalion flying 225 hrs of combat while in country, being discharged again from active duty in December of 2005 to the Ready Reserve.Jesse Marcel Jr. is currently employed as a specialist in Otolaryngology at the Veterans Administration Hospital, Ft. Harrison, Montana.