Rear Admiral Johnston currently serves as the U.S. Coast Guard’s Director of Acquisition Programs and Program Executive Officer (PEO). His duties include management oversight of all Coast Guard acquisition programs and projects for the modernization and recapitalization of surface, air, command and control, and logistics assets in support of the Coast Guard's multiple maritime missions.
Rear Admiral Johnston graduated from the United States Coast Guard Academy in 1990 with a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering. After serving two consecutive tours afloat, he attended the Georgia Institute of Technology to complete a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering. He then served as a project manager and senior communications network engineer for the Vessel Traffic Systems and the Differential Global Positioning System.
He was selected to serve as Aide to the Commandant of the Coast Guard from 2000-2002. During this tumultuous timeframe, his work helped restore the Nation to normalcy following the 9/11 terrorists attacks. He also helped to transition the Coast Guard into the newly-formed Department of Homeland Security.
Rear Admiral Johnston went back to operations as the Deputy Commander for Group St. Petersburg, FL coordinating operations with partner agencies and restructuring the unit into a Sector Command. Following this assignment, he reported as Commanding Officer of the Electronics Systems Support Unit in New Orleans, LA; just two months before Hurricane Katrina. He coordinated response, recovery, and repair efforts for all command and control systems across the Gulf Coast from Mexico to Florida.
In 2008, Rear Admiral Johnston graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Master of Science in Management and Systems Engineering. A DHS Level III Acquisitions Program Manager, he went on to serve as the Deputy Project Manager within the Coast Guard Acquisitions program, delivering significant capabilities to the newest cutters and aircraft for the Service.
From 2011 to 2014, Rear Admiral Johnston served as the Commanding Officer of the Coast Guard’s Command, Control, and Communications Engineering Center. He was responsible for the development, deployment, sustainment, logistics support, training, and configuration management for all C3 systems in the Coast Guard.
He served in Officer Personnel Management; then, in June 2015, he was selected to serve as Executive Director for the Deputy Commandant for Mission Support (DCMS), responsible for staffing, training and equipping the Coast Guard for its missions.