Jay Montgomery Garner (born April 15, 1938) is a retired United States Army general who was appointed in 2003 as Director of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance for Iraq following the 2003 invasion of Iraq but was soon replaced by L. Paul Bremer.
Born in Arcadia, Florida, Garner served a hitch with the Marines before attending Florida State University, where he received a degree in history in 1962. He also holds a Master's in public administration from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania.
Commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 1962, Garner served two tours in Vietnam, and later led two air defense units in Germany. He also served as deputy commander at Fort Bliss, Texas. Garner helped to develop the Patriot missile system and commanded missile batteries during the Gulf War. After the war he was put in charge of securing Kurdish areas in Iraq. He was later named commander of the U.S. Army Space and Strategic Defense Command (working primarily on President Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative missile shield program), and concluded his Army career as Assistant Vice Chief of Staff, retiring in 1997 at the rank of Lieutenant General.
After leaving the Army, Garner became president of SYColeman, a defense contractor which designs missile communications and targeting systems used in the Patriot and Arrow missile systems. (He has been on unpaid leave from the company since January 2003.) Garner served on a presidential panel, chaired by Donald Rumsfeld, which specializes in space and missile threats. He has also worked closely with the Israel Defence Forces.
In 2003 it was announced that Garner had been selected to lead the post-war reconstruction efforts in Iraq, a natural choice given his earlier similar role in the north. However his ties to the arms trade via SYColeman made him a target of heavy criticism. After several weeks of general lawlessness and a seeming inability to get various infrastructure working again in Iraq, he was replaced in his role by L. Paul Bremer on May 11th, 2003.