ATU Alumnus Gains New U.S. Army Command

Arkansas Tech University alumnus Major Gen. Gary W. Johnston is the new commander for the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM).

Johnston was installed during a change of command ceremony at the Fort Belvoir Community Center (Va.) on Monday, June 11. In his new role, he will have oversight of 17,500 soldiers, Army civilians and contractors working on behalf of the United States at 180 locations in 45 countries.

“INSCOM is very fortunate to have such a promising leader in the able hands of my close friend Major Gen. Gary Johnston, an extraordinarily capable, incredibly talented and committed leader,” said Lt. Gen. Scott D. Berrier, U.S. Army deputy chief of staff, G-2, during the change of command ceremony. “There is no better successor to command INSCOM than Gary Johnston.”

A 1983 graduate of Russellville High School, Johnston went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from Arkansas Tech in 1987. He completed the U.S. Army ROTC program at ATU and was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army.

In the 31 years since, Johnston has served as Director of Intelligence, J-2, U.S. Special Operations Command; Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2, XVIII Airborne Corps; and Deputy J-2, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command (ISAF-IJC), Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan. His joint and combined assignments include Commander, Task Force 165 in support of Combined/Joint Task Force 76 in Bagram, Afghanistan; Commander, Combined Task Force Viper, Spin Boldak, Afghanistan; Deputy Director of Operations, Joint Intelligence Center Central, U.S. Central Command; Chief, WMD Analysis Branch, Joint Intelligence Center Central; and Executive Officer, Directorate of Operations, Joint Intelligence Center Pacific. He most recently served as Deputy Chief of Staff, Intelligence, Resolute Support Mission, North Atlantic Treaty Organization/Director, J-2, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, from April 2017 until April 2018.

Johnston received a Master of Science of Strategic Intelligence Degree from the Joint Military Intelligence College and a master’s degree from the U.S. Army War College.

According to a news release from INSCOM, the organization that Johnston will lead “executes mission command of operational intelligence and security forces, conducts and synchronizes worldwide multi-discipline and all-source intelligence and security operations, delivers linguist support and intelligence-related advanced skills training, acquisition support, logistics, communications and other specialized capabilities in support of Army, Joint and Coalition commands and the U.S. Intelligence Community.”

Johnston is one of seven Arkansas Tech ROTC program graduates to earn the rank of General officer in the U.S. Army. The others are Major General Ronald S. Chastain, Major General Harley C. Davis, Brigadier General Gracus K. Dunn, Major General William E. Harmon, Brigadier General Larry Newman and Major General William Wofford.

Other honored ROTC graduates of Tech include Congressman Steve A. Womack and two Department of Defense civilian General-officer-equivalent: Senior Executive Service Dalton R. Jones and Defense Intelligence Senior Level William H. Speer (Colonel, U.S. Army Retired).

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