Brig. Gen. John P. Johnson assumed command of Fort Jackson, the U.S. Army’s largest basic training center, during a formal ceremony on Friday at the Columbia post.
Johnson, who previously served as director of training, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff in Washington, D.C., takes over as the post’s 49th commanding general. His predecessor, Maj. Gen. Roger Cloutier, has been named chief of staff for the U.S. Africa Command, headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany.
A 1985 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., Johnson has commanded infantry troops from company-level through brigade and Combined Joint Task Force-level, including combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Fort Jackson, which marks its 100th anniversary in 2017, is the Army’s largest Initial Entry Training Center where 50% of all soldiers and 60% of the women undergo basic combat training. Annually, about 35,000 men and women attend basic training and another 8,000 receive advanced training for their Army jobs.
As commanding general, Johnson essentially is the CEO of one of the key drivers of the Midlands economy. The base, which employs more than 7,000 military and civilian personnel, pumps about $2.1 billion a year into the Midlands economy, according to the S.C. Military Base Task Force.