Commandant

Colonel John S. Hutcheson

Colonel John S. Hutcheson is the 20th Commandant of the Defense Information School at Fort George G. Meade, Md. He leads a team of more than 300 military, civilian and contractor professionals responsible for the world-class training of approximately 2,600 public affairs, visual information, broadcasting and broadcast maintenance professionals a year. 

Colonel Hutcheson earned his commission in May 1995 from the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the Pennsylvania State University.  He is a career Public Affairs Officer who has served in PA leadership positions at the wing, major command, air staff and field operating agency levels. Colonel Hutcheson has commanded the 313th Recruiting Squadron in North Syracuse, N.Y. and previously served as the Deputy Commandant of the Defense Information School. Prior to his current position, he served as the Director of Public Affairs for Headquarters, United States Forces Japan where he led a joint U.S.-Japanese team in developing communication strategies and programs to strengthen the U.S.-Japan Alliance and maintain public support for U.S. forces based in Japan. Colonel Hutcheson has deployed overseas in support of worldwide contingency operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iraq, the Philippines and Afghanistan. 

EDUCATION

1995    Bachelor of Science in Administration of Justice, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pa.
1996    Defense Information School Public Affairs Officer Course, Fort George G. Meade, Md. 
2000    Squadron Officer School (by correspondence) Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2000    Department of Defense Short Course in Communication, Oklahoma University, Norman, Okla.
2003    Master of Arts in Communication, University of Washington, Seattle, Wash.
2007    Master of Arts in National Security Studies, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, Calif.
2007    Naval Command and Staff College, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, Calif.
2012    Air War College (by correspondence), Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2017    Master of Science in National Security Studies, National War College, Washington D.C.

ASSIGNMENTS

1.    June 1995 - November 1998: Deputy Director of Public Affairs, Sacramento Air Logistics Center, McClellan AFB, Calif.
2.    November 1998 - September 2001: Chief of Bases and Units Branch; then Chief of Internal Information, Headquarters Air Combat Command Public Affairs, Langley AFB, Va.
3.    September 2001 - April 2003: Graduate student in Communication, Air Force Institute of Technology Civilian Institution Program, University of Washington, Seattle, Wash.
4.    April 2003 - June 2006: Resources Officer; then Executive Officer, Secretary of the Air Force Office of Public Affairs, The Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
5.    June 2006 - October 2007: IDE Student, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, Calif.
6.    October 2007 - August 2010: Chief of Public Affairs, 18th Wing, Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan
7.    August 2010 - June 2012: Deputy Director, Air Force Public Affairs Agency, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas
8.    July 2012 – June 2014: Commander, 313th Recruiting Squadron, North Syracuse, N.Y.
9.    August 2014 – July 2016: Deputy Commandant, Defense Information School, Fort George G. Meade, Md.
10.    July 2016 – June 2017: Student, National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington D.C.
11.  July 2017 – July 2019: Director of Public Affairs, U.S. Forces Japan, Yokota Air Base, Japan
12.  July 2019 – Present: Commandant, Defense Information School, Fort George G. Meade, Md.

MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS

Defense Superior Service Medal
Bronze Star
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with five oak leaf clusters
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal
Joint Service Achievement Medal

OTHER ACHIEVEMENTS

2007     Top Air Force Graduate, Department of National Security Studies, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, Calif.
2007     Distinguished Graduate, Naval Command and Staff College, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, Calif.
2009     Air Force Public Affairs Field Grade Officer of the Year

EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION

Second Lieutenant May 12, 1995
First Lieutenant May 31, 1997
Captain May 31, 1999
Major October 1, 2005
Lieutenant Colonel August 1, 2010
Colonel November 1, 2016

Current as of April 2020