First African American Instructor Pilot

Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Danny Johnson:

LTC Johnson was raised in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. He attended St. Peters Catholic School, Merrill Junior and Senior High School and Arkansas Mechanical and Normal (AM&N), currently University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

LTC Johnson entered the U.S. Army in January 1967 and attended the Officer Candidate Officer (OCS) School at Fort Benning, Georgia. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Infantry Branch on December 12, 1967. LTC Johnson was stationed at Fort Waters, Texas and Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Georgia. From May 1969 to May 1970, LTC Johnson served a tour in the Republic of Vietnam. He served as an Instructor Pilot at Fort Rucker, Alabama for three years prior to his attendance in the Infantry Officer Advanced Course and Airborne and Ranger School.

LTC Johnson served a tour of duty in the Republic of Korea as Commander of Company B, 38th Infantry Battalion. After leaving active duty, he joined the newly formed 936th Aviation Company, Arkansas Army National Guard in January 1976. LTC Johnson was the first African American helicopter pilot in the Arkansas National Guard.

In 1978, LTC Johnson transferred to the Washington, D.C. Army National Guard. In 1980, LTC Johnson became a Full-Time National Guard employee at the National Guard Bureau in Arlington, Virginia. He was assigned as the Directorate of Plans and Training as the Training Administrator, and he subsequently served as the Plans, Operations, and Military Support Officer. In 1982, LTC Johnson returned to the Arkansas Army National Guard and served as a Helicopter Instructor Pilot at the Army Aviation Support Facility. LTC Johnson was the first African American to serve as an Instructor Pilot in the Arkansas Army National Guard.

In addition to his many other distinctions, LTC Johnson is a Master Aviator. He has qualifications as a Ranger and Military Parachutist. His military awards include the Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, The Army Commendation Medal with “V” device (for valor) and Oak Leaf Cluster and 25 awards of the Air Medal.