Johnston joined the U.S. Army in 1966, serving first as an enlisted soldier and later as a commissioned officer. His career as an Army ranger and paratrooper included service as a member of the 101st Airborne Division, 1st Infantry Division, 10th Mountain Division, 2nd Infantry Division, 82nd Airborne Division, 7th U.S. Corps and Joint Chiefs of Staff. He retired at the rank of colonel in 1992. He was inducted into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame in 2007.
A life member of DAV Chapter 63 in Williamsburg, Johnston has served in nearly all elected and appointed offices, including three years as Chapter Commander.
At the state level, he was elected 2nd Jr. Vice Commander in 2005 and consecutively elected 1st Jr. Vice Commander through Department Commander in 2008. He also served as Department District Adjutant two years, Chief of Staff, Trustee of the State Retirement Fund, member of the State Audit Committee, and Executive Committeeman, and is active in various Chapter and Department VA Voluntary Service programs. He was elected 4th Junior Vice Commander at the organization’s 2009 National Convention in Denver, Color, and subsequently to 3rd Junior Vice Commander in 2010. Other national positions he has held include Assistant national Chief of Staff, Convention Finance committee Chairman, and member of the Columbia Trust Committee and the National Interim Legislative Committee.
Johnston brings 18 years of experience in management and finance. Holding masters’ degrees in business and executive management from Central Michigan University and the Army’s Command and General Staff College, Johnston has worked for nonprofit organizations since military retirement. During the past 14 years, he has served as a member of Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services, the largest social service organization in the tri-state metropolitan area.
He currently serves as the Chief Operations Officer of the organization. In 2009-10, he was recognized as a Cincinnati CFO of the year and subsequently, in 2011, as a recipient of the Greater Cincinnati Second Act Award.
Attending the 2011 National Convention with Johnston were other Raymond Hutchinson and Reynolds Robertson II, both members of Clermont County Chapter 63 of Disabled American Veterans.