Dr. David E. Johnson

Director, Chief of Staff of the Army Strategic Studies Group

Dr. David Johnson is the Director, Chief of Staff of the Army Strategic Studies Group. The Strategic Studies Group conducts independent, unconventional, and revolutionary research and analysis to generate innovative strategic and operational concepts for land forces in support of a governing theme provided by the Chief of Staff of the Army.

Dr. Johnson is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University where he teaches a course on strategy and military operations. Prior to joining the Strategic Studies Group, Dr. Johnson was a senior researcher at the RAND Corporation where he focused on military innovation, joint operations, and strategy for over 14 years.

Before joining RAND, Dr. Johnson had a twenty-four year career in the U.S. Army, serving in command and staff positions in the Infantry, Quartermaster Corps, and Field Artillery branches in the mainland United States, Hawaii, Korea, Germany, and Belgium. He retired as a Colonel in 1997.

Dr. Johnson has MA and Ph.D. degrees in history from Duke University. He also has an MMAS from the U.S. Command and General Staff College, an MS from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, and a BA from Trinity University.

Dr. Johnson is the author of numerous books, articles, and reports including:

  • Fast Tanks and Heavy Bombers: Innovation in the U.S. Army, 1917–1945
  • Modern U.S. Civil-Military Relations: Wielding the Terrible Swift Sword
  • Learning Large Lessons: The Evolving Roles of Ground Power and Air Power in the Post–Cold War Era
  • "What Are You Prepared to Do? NATO and the Strategic Mismatch between Ends, Ways, and Means in Afghanistan—and in the Future"
  • The 2008 Battle of Sadr City (with M. Wade Markel and Brian Shannon)
  • "Minding the Middle: Insights from Hezbollah and Hamas for Future Warfare"
  • Heavy Armor in the Future Security Environment
  • Hard Fighting: Israel in Lebanon and Gaza

Dr. Johnson's work has been on the professional reading lists of the U.S. Army Chief of Staff, the U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff, the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Commander, the Chief of the Air Staff Royal Air Force (United Kingdom); and the Royal Australian Air Force Chief of Air Staff.

Dr. Johnson is a member of the senior advisory boards of the U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence and U.S. Army Fires Center of Excellence.

Dr. Johnson's honors and awards include: the National Defense University President's Strategic Vision Award for Excellence in Research/Writing (1994); the SAIC (Science Applications International Corporation) Publication Prize for Policy/Economics/Arms Control (1997); the RAND President's (2009), Gold (2007 and 2012), and Bronze (2011) Awards; and military awards and decorations—Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (with 4 oak leaf clusters), Army Commendation Medal (with 5 oak leaf clusters), Army Achievement Medal (with 4 oak leaf clusters), Parachutist's Badge, Ranger Tab, Expert Infantryman's Badge, and Ancient Order of Saint Barbara.

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