This year’s Annual Meeting will feature four plenary speakers—one for each day of the meeting—and we are pleased to introduce Colonel Richard Johnson of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, who will be speaking on Monday, December 14.
Col. Johnson will be be addressing military entomology as it has affected the course of history of civilization and nations. From ancient times to the present, entomology has affected the course of battles and determined the fates of nations. Oftentimes that has been through the effect of pests and vector-borne diseases during periods of war or intercultural strife. From the plague of Athens in the Peloponnesian War to leishmaniasis in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, arthropods and their associated human pathogens have been with us, affecting generals, foot soldiers, and non-combatants. However, new technologies in combating arthropods have also emerged.
Col. Johnson was appointed as assistant professor, Uniformed Services University for the Health Sciences, in August, 2008. He has been board certified in medical-veterinary entomology since 1987.
In October, 1984, Col. Johnson was commissioned as a medical entomologist, Medical Service Corps, United States Army. In his first active duty tour, he served as chief of epidemiology and disease control at Fort Ord in California. During this time, he performed a six-month tour as the staff entomologist with Joint Task Force –Bravo in Honduras. He subsequently served as research entomologist with the Army Medical Research Unit in Nairobi, Kenya from May, 1990 to June, 1993. From September, 1993 to December, 1995, he was assigned as the commander of the 105th Preventive Medicine Detachment at Fort Lewis in Washington state. While there, he deployed with his unit to support the military exercise Cobra Gold ’95 and also served as the combined joint task force preventive medicine staff officer.
From January, 1996 to March, 1999, Col. Johnson was assigned to the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine – North as chief of the Entomological Sciences Division, where he supervised and directed medical entomology training and pest management support to over 100 military bases in the northeastern U.S. Concurrently, during the period from September, 1996 to August, 1997, he served as the preventive medicine staff officer and military public health liaison to the 1997 National Scout Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia. There, he was responsible for the coordinating, planning, and oversight of support to safeguard the health of the 150,000 jamboree participants, staff, military support personnel, and guests.
In March, 1999, he was assigned as the deputy program manager/Army representative to the Defense Pest Management Information Analysis Center. He was responsible for coordinating and staffing pest management information products and services to deployed forces of all Services. In October, 2000, Col. Johnson was appointed the research liaison officer, where he was responsible for directing the development of Department of Defense requirements for pest management, technology development, and testing. He coordinated with other federal research agencies for execution of research interests to the military. He was responsible for administering the Deployed Warfighter Protection Research Program, DoD-sponsored research directed at the control of insects that are of military importance to the health of deployed servicemembers. In November, 2004, he was appointed director of defense pest management and as executive director of the Armed Forces Pest Management Board, where he was responsible for worldwide oversight of the pest management program for the U.S. Department of Defense.
His military awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Meritorious Service Medal, and others. He has also earned the Expert Field Medical Badge, the Parachutist Badge, and the Air Assault Badge. He is a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College.
Col. Johnson is a native of Wilmington, Delaware. He received his B.S. in entomology and applied ecology from the University of Delaware and his M.S. and Ph.D. in entomology from the University of Florida. He is married to the former Elizabeth A. Kerrigan of Branford, Connecticut, a board-certified pediatric nurse practitioner and former army nurse corps officer. They have three sons and one daughter. Off-duty, he is active with a number of community activities, particularly with the Boy Scouts of America.
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