Garrett Ornellas was born in Pendelton, OR, and grew up there. He frequently participated in rodeos and was a linebacker for his high-school football team. When he was 16, police arrived at his house with a warrant for both of his parents' arrests, due to drug charges. They resisted arrest, and were killed in the resulting confrontation. Ornellas came home from school that day and was met at his house by the coroner.
He moved to live with his grandmother at the Warm Springs Indian Reservation, southwest from Pendelton at the foot of the Cascade mountains. He became a bully in retaliation to the bullying he received in this new school, and developed a fascination with fire. After graduation, his grandmother convinced him to seek counseling - it took him two years, but he managed to move past the death of his family.
He decided he owed much to his grandmother, and joined the Wildland Firefighting Service to make enough money to move her to a nice retirement home. He found success in the Service, and decided to devote himself to pursuing that career. He attended college and joined the U.S. Forestry Service, becoming a smokejumper. A highly-trained firefighter held to military standards, he engaged in low-altitude drops to do frontline firefighting - and as he became more experienced, he began doing HALO jumps through smoke columns into raging large-scale wildfires.
Potius Cras took an interest in his background, primarily his parachuting experience, and scouted them into their employ. Money was a greater motivator to Ornellas than the heroism of firefighting, and on top of that enjoyed the feeling of being part of something greater. Potius Cras trained him in combat, and Ornellas was added to their ranks of Operators. When the Event happened, they wanted boots on the ground in Chernarus. He was happy to oblige.