Chief, International Military Student Office

Mr. Rivers Johnson

Mr. Rivers Johnson is a retired Army Public Affairs Officer. His last job was as the Director of Public Affairs for the U.S. Cyber Command at Fort Meade, Maryland.  Prior to that he was the division chief for Army Community Relations at the Pentagon.   A native of Mobile, Alabama, he is a 1984 ROTC graduate of the University of South Alabama.  He holds Masters’ degrees in Public Administration and Strategic Studies from Shippensburg University and the Army War College respectively.

Mr. Johnson, as a career public affairs officer, served in tactical and strategic public affairs assignments at the White House, DoD, the Corps and Division levels, the Joint Task Force, and Detachment levels.  His initial Infantry Officer duty assignments were with the 1st  Battalion, 6th Infantry and 1st Brigade, 1st  Armored Division, Illesheim, Germany; the United States Army Infantry Center and School; and the Infantry Training Brigade, Fort Benning, Georgia. 

In July 1991, he started his public affairs career with the 22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.  He also served as the 82nd Airborne Division Public Affairs Officer.  While at Fort Bragg, he supported public affairs missions in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (Haitian Migration Opns), Miami, Florida (Hurricane Andrew), Honduras (JTF-Bravo) and Haiti during “Operation Uphold Democracy” aboard the USS Mount Whitney.     

Upon completion of the Command and General Staff College, he participated in the Army’s Training with Industry program at the Ketchum Public Relations Firm in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from 1997 to 1998. He was subsequently assigned to the Defense Information School (DINFOS), Fort Meade, Maryland as a team leader and small group instructor.  After his assignment at DINFOS, he was assigned to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy as the deputy public affairs officer.  From November 2001 to July 2004 he was a press operations officer for the Office of the Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs) at the Pentagon.  

Following completion of the Army War College in 2005, he served as the executive officer to the Chief of Army Public Affairs.  In March 2007, he was promoted to colonel and in August 2007, started his tour of duty in Iraq as the Public Affairs Officer for the Civilian Police Assistance Training Team, Multinational Security Transition command – Iraq.    

His military education includes the U.S. Army War College, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, the Public Affairs Officer’s Course, the Combined Arms Services Staff School, the Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, the Ordnance Officer Basic Course and the Military History Instructor’s Course.

He is married to the former Michelle Marie Nicholas and they reside in Severn, Maryland. They have two grown children, Chrystal and Rivers III, a sergeant in the United States Marine Corps.