Colonel John Thomas, USAF, Retired
M.S. Logistics Management, 1985
Colonel Thomas began his Air Force Career in 1979 as a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy. Looking back on his distinguished 33 year career, he regards his time at AFIT as one of his most rewarding assignments.
Of the many career opportunities that presented themselves throughout his career, several have resulted directly from his degree through AFIT. Some of those opportunities include time as a Logistics Officer for the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty and an assignment as the Deputy Chief of Logistics for the F-22 stealth fighter during its development in the mid 1990’s. Additionally, Col Thomas served time as the Assistant Chief of Logistics for the Airborne Laser Program and the Chief of Logistics for 15 Airbases while serving at the Air Staff. Rounding out his career, Col Thomas occupied a high visibility assignment as the Air Force’s first acquisition Program Manager for the new C-27J Spartan Joint Cargo Aircraft (JCA) program. This program focused on jointly procured air frames that both the Air Force and Army could use as a rapid transit cargo aircraft. The purpose behind the JCA program was to effectively move high value, time sensitive material and personnel throughout forward locations in a combat theater. The program was valued in excess of $5.5 Billion.
Currently, Colonel Thomas is the President of the National Aerospace Organization (NAO), managing educational technology symposiums for Department of Defense and NASA agencies. The NAO seeks to identify and advocate new technologies, innovative systems, and exceptional services that can improve Department of Defense, Air Force, Naval and Marine Corps Aviation, Army Aviation, and NASA operations and support activities. Colonel Thomas enjoys the opportunity to help introduce new, emerging technologies into the defense aerospace sector to help sustain the United States as the world’s premier air power.
When asked if he had any advice for current students, Col Thomas focused on people: “Enjoy your time at AFIT and develop long-term relationships with fellow students and faculty. These will last far longer than the myriad of facts and details memorized to pass exams.”
Col Thomas currently lives in Jacksonville, Florida.