Colonel Michael H Johnson attended the U. S. Naval Academy in July, 1990 and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering in May 1994. Following designation as a Naval Aviator in January 1997, he reported to HMLAT-303 for training as an AH-1W helicopter pilot.
In September 1997, Col Johnson reported to HMLA-369 (Marine Light/Attack Helicopter Squadron) aboard Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, California and served as the Embarkation Officer for the squadron’s deployment to Okinawa in support of the Unit Deployment Program (UDP) from November 1997 to May 1998. Upon return to the U.S., he assumed duties as the Squadron Adjutant. Col Johnson served as the Ordnance Officer and deployed with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) (MEU[SOC]) as part of HMM-166(Reinforced) from October 1999 to July 2000 in the Pacific and Persian Gulf Areas of Responsibility. Upon return, Col Johnson attended the Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course 1-01 in October 2000 and subsequently served as the AH-1W Tactics Officer. Col Johnson assumed duties as the AH-1W Tactics Officer and Future Operations Officer for HMM-165(Reinforced) in July 2001 and deployed with the 13th MEU (SOC) in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM from December 2001 to July 2002 in the Pacific and Persian Gulf Areas of Responsibility. He served as AH-1W flight lead supporting combat operations ashore during Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan. Upon return to HMLA-369, Col Johnson served as Quality Assurance Officer until August 2002.
In August 2002, Col Johnson reported to 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, for duties as a Series Officer. In March 2003, Col Johnson was reassigned to HMLA-369 and deployed in support Operation IRAQI FREEDOM from April to July 2003.
Col Johnson reported to Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One (MAWTS-1) in July 2003 to serve as an AH-1W instructor. In June 2004, he completed the Tactical Air Control Party course in Coronado, California, and received the Forward Air Controller Military Occupational Specialty. From July 2003 to June 2006, Col Johnson retained subject matter expert duties at MAWTS-1 for Offensive Air Support, Forward Air Controller (Airborne), Joint Close Air Support, Aviation Developmental Test and Evaluation, and Training and Readiness Manuals.
Col Johnson attended the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama from August 2006 to June 2007, graduating with a Masters degree in Military Operational Art and Science.
Col Johnson reported to Marine Air Group 26 (MAG-26), Marine Corps Air Station New River, Jacksonville, North Carolina in July 2007 and served as the Future Operations Officer and MAG Weapons and Tactics Instructor. In April 2008, he joined HML/A-167 in Al Asad, Iraq and served as the S-4 Officer during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM 08.1. In August 2008, he deployed as the Officer In Charge of a four AH-1W detachment to Kandahar, Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. Col Johnson served as the Operations Officer from October 2008 to July 2009, deploying with the squadron to Al Taqqadum Air Base, Iraq, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM 09.1. Col Johnson served as the Executive Officer from July 2009 until May 2010.
Col Johnson assumed command of Marine Air Group 49 Detachment “A” (MAG-49 Det A) in July 2010 at Robins Air Force Base, Warner Robins, Georgia, serving as the Site Commander for active duty personnel at HMLA-773. Col Johnson relinquished command in July 2012.
Col Johnson attended the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama from July 2012 to May 2013, graduating with a Masters degree in Strategic Studies.
Col Johnson reported to U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) at Macdill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida in June 2013. He served as the Pathway Defeat Branch Chief in the J53 Special Plans and Policy Division, focusing on Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction from June 2014 to June 2016.
Col Johnson reported to 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in August 2016 and served as Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff. He served as the Assistant Chief of Staff G-3 from June 2017 to June 2018. In June 2018 Col Johnson assumed the duties of his current billet as the Commanding Officer of Marine Aviation Training Support Group 21 (MATSG-21), onboard Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Pensacola, FL.
Col Johnson has accumulated over 3,600 flight hours (including over 450 combat hours and over 900 night vision goggle hours) as a pilot in AH-1Z, AH-1W, UH-1N, AH-6M, AH-64D, F-18D, F-16 DG, and Bell 407 aircraft. He has deployed to Iraq four times and Afghanistan twice. Col Johnson’s personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal with Strike Flight numeral “10”, Combat “V” and bronze star, the Navy Commendation Medal with three gold stars, and the Navy Achievement Medal.