Mr. Johnson was nominated on August 3, 2001, by President George W. Bush to serve as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Installations and Environment) and was sworn in on August 7, 2001. The President directed him to assume the duties as the Acting Secretary of the Navy on February 7, 2003. He was acting in this role through September 2003.
The Secretary of the Navy leads the Department of the Navy consisting of 383,000 active duty and 89,000 Reserve Sailors; 172,000 active duty and 40,000 Reserve Marines; and 186,000 civilians. It includes 308 warships, 4,100 aircraft, and an annual budget of over $110 billion.
Prior to his nomination to serve in the Bush-Cheney administration, Mr. Johnson served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) in Madison, Wisconsin. He also served as President and CEO of EG&G Technical Service and later of EG&G when purchased by The Carlyle Group.
Previously, Mr. Johnson joined USAA Capital Corporation, part of one of the largest and most successful financial services organizations in America. He was responsible for providing non-insurance services to USAA members through the USAA Federal Savings Bank (selected as the best bank in America by Money Magazine), the USAA Investment Management Company, the USAA Real Estate Company, and USAA Buying Service. These companies managed $13 billion in USAA insurance portfolios, over $16 billion in mutual funds, a $10 billion bank, and $1 billion in real estate holdings. While at USAA, President George H. W. Bush appointed him to the 1993 Base Realignment and Closure Commission.
A native of Aiken, S.C., he was the outstanding graduate in thermodynamics and aeronautics in the first class (1959) of the U.S. Air Force Academy. In 1989, he became the first graduate of the Air Force Academy to be promoted to General (four stars). Mr. Johnson additionally earned a Master’s Degree in Aeronautics from Stanford and an MBA from Colorado. He furthered his military education at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, the National War College, and Advance Management Program at Dartmouth.
His early military service included a tour as a forward air controller in Viet Nam where he flew 423 combat missions followed by service as an assistant professor of Aeronautics at the Air Force Academy. After serving in Air Force Plans, he joined the Strategic Air Command and served as a Wing Commander and in SAC Plans.
From 1982 to 1985, he led the team that successfully rebalanced the Air Force programs in the $100 billion annual Air Force Budget.
Following that tour, he led Strategic Air Command operations in 1985 and directed the refueling and strategic reconnaissance forces during the bombing of Libya. He then became the Vice Commander in Chief of the Pacific Air Force.
In late 1987, he became the Deputy Commander in Chief of the Central Command during Earnest Will, the U.S. reflagging of Kuwaiti oil tankers and escort operations in the Persian Gulf. Following his tour in Central Command, Mr. Johnson served the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as director of the Joint Staff.
As Commander in Chief of the U.S. Transportation and the Military Airlift Commands, Mr. Johnson worked directly for Secretary of Defense, Dick Cheney and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Colin Powell in leading all transportation components of the U.S. military. His Air Force command provided all airlift and special operations forces for the extremely effective Just Cause invasion of Panama. From 1990 to 1991, his commands led all military and commercial aspects of the Desert Shield/Storm movement of troops, equipment, and supplies to and from the Persian Gulf – the most concentrated movement in American military history.
Date: 27 February 2003