Brig. Gen. John P. “Pete” Johnson was named the 49th commanding general of Fort Jackson, the Army’s largest initial training base.
The change of command at Victory Field took place amid the pomp of a ceremony that dates back to the American Revolution. Johnson took the installation’s flag from Maj. Gen. Anthony C. Funkhouser, commanding general, Center for Initial Military Training.
Johnson will assume command from Maj. Gen. Roger L. Cloutier, Jr., who is leaving Fort Jackson to become the chief of staff for U.S. Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany.
“This is one of the nation’s best military communities, no question about it,” Cloutier said in his remarks before about 150 guests, both civilian and military. “This will be your best tour, hands down.”
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Cloutier, whose daughter Haille will stay in Columbia and attend the University of South Carolina, assumed command only about one year ago. Commanding generals at the fort usually stay for about two years. No reason was given for the short tour.
His previous posting was to assess all of the Army‘s installations for the Pentagon to advise on future base closures or realignments.
Fort Jackson currently pumps about $2 billion a year into the Midlands economy, according a study commissioned by the S.C. Department of Commerce. About $40 million of that is direct spending by families
Since Cloutier took command, the Army announced Fort Jackson will receive an 11th training battalion in October 2017, a move that would boost the post’s local economic impact and increase its value to the Army in the face of expected budget cuts.
Johnson, in his first press conference Friday, said he is not yet aware of any major changes to staffing or the number of soldiers to be trained at the base in the future
“There’s a lot of swirl out there,” he said. “Our mission is just to watch our lane. ... The priority is to focus on the here and now, and when the decisions are made you deal with them.”
Johnson is coming to Fort Jackson from his position as director of training, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, , U.S. Army, Washington D.C.
He graduated in 1985 from the United States Military Academy at West Point and was commissioned a second lieutenant of infantry. He also holds a master’s degree in Operational Analysis from the Naval Post Graduate School and a master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the Army War College.
Throughout his military career, Johnson has served in principal staff leadership positions, joint service positions and has commanded troops from company-level through brigade and combined joint task force-level, including several combat tours during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq, Operation Provide Comfort in Iraq and Operation Just Cause in Panama.
Johnson’s command assignments include Deputy Commanding General for Operations for the 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, and commander of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky.
In Afghanistan, he was the commander of Combined Joint Task Force Currahee, which consisted of more than 5,000 American, Czech and Polish service member’s deployed in support of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force, Afghanistan.
Johnson and his wife, is married and has three children – Justin, 18, Sarah, 16, and Daniel, 13.
Brig. Gen. John P. “Pete” Johnson
Married, has three children
Past combat tours: Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq, Operation Provide Comfort in Iraq, and Operation Just Cause in Panama.
Past command assignments: Deputy Commanding General for Operations for the 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; commander of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky.; and commander of Combined Joint Task Force Currahee, in support of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force, Afghanistan