Representative Pitts is an Overseas Brat. Pitts was born in Kentucky in a family of strong Christian faith.. His father was an Army chaplain during World War II, serving in the South Pacific. After the war, the elder Pitts returned to the Philippines with his wife and children to serve as a missionary in a war-ravaged country. It was there, where he saw the after-affects of war, that Joe Pitts developed a heart for human rights and commitment to a strong defense. General Douglas MacArthur, a warrior who humbled an empire and taught it to be a democracy, was a childhood hero.
Representative Pitts also served for five and a half years in the USAF/SAC.