Alumni Highlight: Major General Jerome Johnson, ’73

FVSU Alumnus helped win wars as a military innovator

May. 10, 2018

FVSU alumnus Major General Jerome Johnson, ’73, is as important to military history as he is to African-American history. Over the course of a storied and distinguished career, Johnson helped revolutionize the way the U.S. Army deployed equipment and ordnance to fighting troops, ensuring fighting readiness and effectiveness. Ordnance include weapons like cannons, artillery, guns, and other arms. In August 2007, he assumed the duties of Deputy Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army Forces Command. In this role, he helped structure the logistics operations the Army needed to sustain troops fighting in the field and provided support for 840,000 active duty and reserve soldiers and Army civilians. During a prior tenure as head of the U.S. Army Sustainment Command, he led the implementation of a major initiative that evolved the way the Army deployed, recovered, and maintained equipment to relieve units of property accountability responsibilities and allow more troops to be placed into combat.

Earlier, as the Pentagon’s Director of Plans, Readiness, and Operations for the U.S. Army, he helped win the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq by managing the logistics aspect of the response to the September 11, 2001 attacks.

General Johnson received his commission in July 1973 through the ROTC program at Fort Valley State University, graduating that year as salutatorian with a bachelor’s degree in business administration before later earning an MBA from Syracuse University. A member of the Phi Beta Kappa scholastic honor society, he  retired from the U.S. Army in 2009 after 36 years of service and was inducted into the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps Hall of Fame in 2012. His decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal , the Army Commendation Medal, and the Army Staff Identification Badge.

General Johnson and his wife Doris met while both were students at FVSU.

Read: Army AL&T MagazineInterview with Major General Jerome Johnson, Commanding General, U.S. Army Field Support Command

Fort Valley State University