Army bids farewell to general after 36 years
December 11, 2009
The Army bid an official farewell to Maj. Gen. Jerome Johnson, deputy chief of staff for U.S. Army Forces Command G-4, in recognition of his 36 years of dedicated service during his retirement ceremony held Nov. 24 at FORSCOM headquarters.
"I've enjoyed my service to my country and the camaraderie of being in the military, and I'll miss being with Soldiers," Johnson said, noting, "I had planned several times over my career to get out, but working with Soldiers kept me in. My greatest satisfaction has come when years later a Soldier would come up to me and say, 'Sir, you told me you believed I had what it took, so I gave it a shot. And I just want to thank you.'"
As FORSCOM deputy chief of staff for logistics, Johnson had responsibility for logistical support, policy and readiness within FORSCOM in support of more than 800,000 active and reserve Soldiers and 40,000 DA Civilian employees. His logistical responsibilities in support of the Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN) process included ensuring FORSCOM formations were properly reset and equipped for stateside training as well as operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo and lesser engagement areas worldwide.
A native of Sylvania, Johnson began his Army career in 1973 when he was commissioned as a second lieutenant upon his graduation from the Reserve Officers Training Corps at Fort Valley State University.
Throughout his years in the Army, Johnson served in a variety of staff, field and command assignments within the continental United States and in Germany and Korea.
In recent years, he was instrumental in transforming and restructuring many logistics processes that resulted in the creation of the Army Field Support Brigades, the left-behind equipment program, the Army Contract Command and the Army Sustainment Command.
"I've seen the Army grow and evolve over the past 30-plus years, and the professionalism of the entire all-volunteer Army has gotten better and better," he said, adding that young officers and Soldiers today, including his son, Anthony, who recently received his Army commission, are "unbelievably good - better educated, better trained, more focused on executing the mission and taking care of those who have to execute the mission. They are the greatest bargain this country has."
Johnson's staff assignments include personnel distribution officer at the Total Army Personnel Command; chief of the Finance Management Office and the executive officer with the 21st Support Command; program analyst and logistics staff officer for the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics; chief of staff and deputy commander with the 3rd Corps Support Command; and executive officer to the commanding general of U.S. Army Materiel Command.
Johnson's awards and decorations included the Distinguished Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, the Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, the Army Commendation Medal and the Army Staff Identification Badge. Johnson and his wife, Doris, whom he met and married after graduating from Fort Valley State University, plan to retire to the Washington, D.C., area, where he will join Honeywell Technical Solutions as vice president for operations and logistics.