Dr. John Johns
General Johns served 26 years as a combat arms officer, retiring in 1978 as a brigadier general. He served in command positions up to Assistant Division Commander of the 1st Infantry Division and held numerous staff positions, including 8 years on the Army General Staff, culminating his career as Director, Human Resources Development.
In 1960, General Johns began a series of assignments focused on counterinsurgency strategy and doctrine. He was on a committee at the Special Warfare School in 1961 that developed the first Counterinsurgency course, went to Vietnam in 1962, where he was senior advisor to the Vietnam Political Warfare School, and returned to serve in a series of staff positions on the Army General Staff. During these staff positions, General Johns focused on the nation-building role of the U.S. military. His recommendations were distributed as policy guidance for the development of counterinsurgency doctrine and curricula. The one recommendation that was rejected was that U.S. combat forces not be used in counterinsurgency operations in Vietnam; he argued that the U.S. role should be limited to advisory duties. While serving in the office of the army chief of staff, he served on a committee that monitored war crimes committed by U.S. forces in Vietnam.
After retirement and a tour as a deputy assistant secretary of defense, General Johns served for 14 years as a professor of political science at the National Defense University (NDU), where he taught National Security Strategy and National Security Decision-making and regional studies of Latin America. After retiring from NDU in 1996, Dr. Johns taught courses on Ethics and the U.S. Constitution at the Federal Executive Institute until 2005. In October 2001, he taught a one-week ethics course for the 21 senior officers of the Omani Air Force; the fourth day was on international terrorism.
He is currently the Washington Area coordinator for seminars conducted by the National War College Alumni Association. He participates in an internet chat group that focuses on national security issues. The group membership of over 250 consists of scholars, senior retired and active military officers, media representatives, and policymakers throughout the government.
General Johns is a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College, the National War College, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He has masters' degrees in psychology and international relations, and a doctorate in sociology.