|CDR Michael “Shawn” Johnston
Commanding Officer - Gold
A native of North Carolina, Commander Michael (Shawn) Johnston earned a B.S. in Zoology from North Carolina State University and was commissioned an Ensign through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program in December 1993.
Commander Johnston is a Surface Warfare Officer whose sea tours include Division Officer tours in USS ARLEIGH BURKE (DDG 51) and USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65) from October 1994 to November 1998 deploying in support of the conflict in Kosovo and two deployments to the Arabian Gulf. His Department Head tour was as Weapons Officer and Combat Systems Officer in USS LEYTE GULF (CG 55) from October 2001 to October 2004, which included two deployments to the Arabian Gulf and Arabian Sea in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM (Afghanistan) and IRAQI FREEDOM. He served as Executive Officer in USS THE SULLIVANS (DDG 68) home ported in Mayport, FL, from June 2007 to June 2009, deploying for seven months in the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, Arabian Gulf, Indian Ocean and Sea of Japan.
Commander Johnston earned a Master’s Degree in Operations Research from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA in December 2000 and served in the Navy’s Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA) in Washington D.C. as a Congressional Liaison Officer from November 2004 to January 2007. He began with the Command, Control, Computers, Communications and Intelligence (C4I), Space, and Information Technology (IT) portfolio of programs then transitioned to the Shipbuilding and Surface Warfare portfolio. Commander Johnston served as a planner at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Joint Force Command Headquarters in Brunssum, The Netherlands, from July 2009 to June 2011. His focus was force generation and planning support to the NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) currently deployed to Afghanistan.
Commander Johnston’s personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (5 awards), Navy Achievement Medal and various unit, campaign and service medals.