Jan joined the Air Force in 1973 when only two percent of soldiers were women. She expected to serve no more than six years in the military, but she gained strength and thrived until she retired after 27 years. Jan’s Military Occupational Specialty jobs were a Medical Lab Tech, an Aero-Medical Evacuation Technician for C-130, and Recruiter with the Air Reserve Recruiting office. In April 1975, Jan was part of the Baby Lift Operation in Vietnam. This operation was a mass evacuation of orphans to Clark Air Force Base, Pampanga, Philippines. The babies arrived in cardboard boxes where Jan and her team cared for them until they were adopted.
After her Air Force career, she joined AMVETS and began to rise through the ranks, holding a number of critical leadership positions. Jan served as AMVETS National First Vice Commander, National Second Vice Commander, the first-ever National Third Vice Commander, National Credential Chairperson for 20 years, a trustee on the Ohio Service Foundation, numerous years as Post 44-OH Commander, and Commissioner of the Mahoning County Veterans Service Commission. Jan Brown was elected National Commander during the 2019 AMVETS National Convention. Commander Brown lives in Boardman, Ohio, with her husband J.P. Brown.