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Home | MilitaryMakers | Lt. Col. Harry B. Johnson
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Color: Black
Food: Pork Chops
Quote: Be still, sad heart, and cease repining; Behind the clouds the sun is shining; Thy fate is the common fate of all, Into each life some rain must fall, Some days must be dark and dreary. - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Season: Fall
Vacation Destination: Mountains
Birthplace
Tip Top, Virginia United States
Interview Description:

Biography |

Interview Date: 9/17/2003

Security executive and retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Harry B. Johnson was born in Tip Top, Virginia, on August 21, 1940. On his father's side, he is related to the first black U.S. Senator, Hiram R. Revels. Johnson was raised in humble circumstances by his aunt, Addie M. Hairston, in Bluefield, West Virginia. There, he attended Jones Street Elementary School and was a basketball star at Park Central High School. In 1958, Johnson earned an athletic scholarship to Morgan State College in Baltimore, Maryland, where he received a B.A. in history in 1962. That same year, he fulfilled his ROTC obligation by being inducted into the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant.

Johnson served two tours of duty in Vietnam, where he was a tank commander for Company A of the 504th Military Battalion. He volunteered for and successfully completed Ranger training and at one time reported directly to General William Westmoreland. Choosing the military as a career, Johnson was drawn to security-related assignments. He served as provost marshal of the North Baden Area, West Germany; provost marshal of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; chief of the U.S. Army Corrections Program; and program manager of the Military Personnel Center.

Johnson went on to earn an M.P.A. from Central Michigan University and an M.A. from Wichita State University. In 1983, Johnson retired from the army and accepted a section chief position with the World Bank, eventually rising to senior manager and division chief. Today he is an executive consultant for Security, Education and Environmental Enterprises. His numerous military awards include the Legion of Merit, three Bronze Stars and the Morgan State University Military Hall of Fame.

Johnson lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Sandra, where he enjoys lecturing on African American history.

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