Captain Johnson is a native of Bethesda, Maryland, and a 1987 graduate of Miami University where he earned a BA in History. He was commissioned via ROTC. He has served at sea as Commander, Destroyer Squadron Nine and Sea Combat Commander for the Abraham Lincoln Strike Group; Commanding Officer, USS Shoup (DDG 86); Executive Officer in USS Hue City (CG 66), deploying for Operation Enduring Freedom; Operations Officer on USS Ramage (DDG 61) and USS Gettysburg (CG 64), participating in Operation Desert Fox; and First Lieutenant and Navigator on USS Thomas S. Gates (CG 51), deploying for both Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
Ashore, Captain Johnson's most recent assignment was Executive Assistant to the Deputy Commander, US Pacific Command. Prior to that, he served as Deputy Chief, Future Operations Division (J35), Operations Directorate of US Pacific Command. He has also served as Executive Assistant to the Navy Chief of Legislative Affairs; as Special Assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations; as a Program Analyst for the Director, Navy Quadrennial Defense Review 2001; as a Strategic Planner on the OPNAV staff (N513); and as Aide-de-Camp to the Deputy Commander, Iberian-Atlantic Area, a NATO command located in Lisbon, Portugal.
He holds a MA in National Security Affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School, and he is a graduate of the Joint Forces Staff College. His decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, as well as other personal and unit level awards and citations.
Captain Johnson became the 9th Director, Command Leadership School in September 2013 and the first Commanding Officer of the Naval Leadership and Ethics Center in May 2014.