John B. Atkinson

Associate Professor College of Maritime Operational Warfare
Col., U.S. Marine Corps
John B. Atkinson faculty photo


Retired Marine Colonel with over 28 years of operational & combat experience. Undergraduate matriculation from Boston College. Commands include Assault Amphibian (AA) Platoon, Company, Battalion, and independent Colonel Command. Deployments include in support of NEO, SC, HA/DR, NATO operations, & two Iraq combat tours ~ one as a foreign combat advisor. Senior staff tours include Chief, Global Force Management & Chief, Current Operations, USEUCOM; Portfolio Manager / Director Fires & Maneuver Integration, HQMC; & Senior Planner, Future Concepts, HQMC. A DG of the USMC Amphibious Warfare School, Command & Staff College, and U.S. Naval War College. Holds two Master’s Degrees w/ Distinction.

Areas of Expertise

  • Amphibious Warfare
  • COIN
  • Command and Control
  • Foreign Policy
  • Joint Operations
  • Leadership
  • Littoral Warfare
  • Military Theory
  • National Security
  • Operational Warfare

Professional Highlights


Adjunct Professor, College of Maritime Operational Warfare

Member of world class faculty responsible for teaching Maritime and Operational level of war and planning to Naval officers.

Future Concepts, Combat Development & Integration, Headquarters, US Marine Corps

Subject Matter Expert in Future Concept visualization, planning, and articulation. Professional writing & editing including Capstone & Operational concepts, articles for publication, Naval & Joint Strategic conceptual & doctrinal publications, and senior inter-service & interagency presentations.

Commanding Officer, Headquarters & Service Battalion, Quantico

Responsible for all facets of mission accomplishment and leadership for 2,600 Marines, sailors, and 11,000 family members. Directly supported 8 Deputy Commandant & General Officer level staffs; enabled their ability meet their vast and varied Title X, United States Code responsibilities.

Capability Portfolio Manager/Director, Fires & Maneuver Integration Division, Headquarters, US Marine Corps

Responsible for planning, management, & execution of $8.3B Marine Corps Capability Development, Sustainment, and Investment Portfolio. Senior Strategic Planner & Force Designer.

Director, Current Operations, US European Command

Ensured joint and combined warfighting capability via operational directives, plans, orders, training, and exercises. Responsible for the coordination and promulgation of information and requirements between national command authorities, the Joint Staff, NATO and all subordinate components.

Director, Global Force Management, US European Command

Responsible for the identification, articulation of United States European Command assigned, allocated, and apportioned force requirements in support of Global, Theater Campaign, Operational, Contingency Plans, and other POTUS/SECDEF requirements. Directed USEUCOM EXORDS, DEPORDS, GFMAP, & TPFDD.

Commanding Officer, Assault Amphibian Schools, Training & Education Command, Headquarters US Marine Corps

Formal school Director and Commanding Officer. Responsible for all US Marine Corps Assault Amphibian formal education, training, and Military Occupational Specialty standards and continuum implementation.

Foreign Combat Advisor (Team Leader), Al Anbar Province, Iraq

Leader of embedded combat advisor team with 3d Brigade, 7th Iraqi Army, Al Qaim, Al Anbar Province Iraq.

Chief of Plans, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force

Senior planner for all 1st Marine Division operations and plans, to include operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.


M.A., U.S. Naval War College, National Security Strategy and Policy (w/ Distinction)

M.A., U.S. Marine Corps University, Military Studies (w/ Distinction)

B.A., Boston College, Political Science

Research Contributions and Publications

Awards and Decorations

Legion of Merit
Two Awards

Bronze Star

Defense Meritorious Service Medal

Joint Service Commendation Medal

Joint Service Achievement Medal
Two Medals

Meritorious Service Medal
Two Medals

Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal
Two Medals

Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal

External Memberships and Associations

Statecraft Fellow

Amphibious Tractor Association & Memorial 501 (c)3
National Commander

Assault Amphibian Memorial & Association

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