Military Biography


Lt Col (ret.) Darrin K. Johns final duty assignment was as the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate, Headquarters Twentieth Air Force.  He was responsible for providing legal advice to the Numbered Air Force commander and staff, as well as two subordinate legal offices.  He oversaw the provision of legal services to active duty and civilian personnel by Twentieth Air Force wing legal offices and provided advice in support of missions worldwide.

Lt Col (ret.) Johns was raised an Army brat, born in Fort Benjamin Harrison, IN, and settling in southern California, with stops in Idaho, Washington, Utah, and Germany.  He received his commission through the Officer Training School on 17 March 1995.  Upon graduation, he reported to Eielson AFB, AK and assumed duties as the Commander, Fuels Management Flight.

In 1998, he was reassigned to Dover AFB, DE, where he served for one year as Commander, Combat Operations Support Flight.  He then cross-trained from Supply to Aircraft Maintenance and after four months as the Maintenance Flight Commander working in the backshops, he moved out to the flight line and became the Assistant Flight Line Maintenance Supervisor where he was responsible for the work of over 600 aircraft mechanics.

In April 2000, while attending Squadron Officer’s School in residence, Lt Col Johns was selected for the Extended Leave Program to attend law school.  He reported to Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, UT, in July 2000 and began working towards his law degree.  He graduated from BYU in April 2003 and took the Utah bar in July that same year.

After passing the bar exam, Lt Col (ret.) Johns was assigned to Elmendorf AFB, AK where he served as the Chief of Operations and Readiness Law and as a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Alaska.

In July 2005, Lt Col (ret.) Johns was reassigned to Edwards AFB, CA where he served simultaneously as the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate; Chief of Claims; Chief, Magistrate Court; and as a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of California.  He also served simultaneously as the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate, the Chief of Military Justice, and Chief of Adverse Actions.

Shortly after his arrival at Edwards, Lt Col (ret.) Johns deployed as part of Task Force 134 to Baghdad, Iraq where he presented over 60 cases against suspected terrorists and insurgents before Iraqi judges at the Central Criminal Court of Iraq.

In May 2007, Lt Col (ret.) Johns deployed again, this time to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba as Chief, Intelligence Law.  He worked closely with Department of Justice and Department of Defense attorneys responding to lawsuits filed by detainees challenging their detentions at Guantanamo Bay, including cases going before the United States Supreme Court.

Lt Col (ret.) Johns completed Squadron Officer’s School by correspondence and in residence, the Marine Corps’ Amphibious Warfare School by seminar, Air Command and Staff College by correspondence,   and graduated with excellence from Air War College.  His military awards and decorations include the 1997 PACAF Fuels Management Officer of the Year; 354th Fighter Wing Supply Officer of the Year; 354th Fighter Wing Company Grade Officer of the Quarter; 436th Air Mobility Wing Company Grade Officer of the Quarter; 3d Wing Company Grade Officer JAG of the Year, 2004; Air Force Materiel Command Outstanding Judge Advocate of the Year (Kuhfeld Award), 2006; the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal (4 OLC), Air Force Commendation Medal (1 OLC), Army Commendation Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal (1 OLC), and the Air Force Achievement Medal.  Lt Col (ret.) Johns has also received civilian academic awards for two major legal papers; one on the original meaning of the Second Amendment and the other concerning Child Soldiers.


1988     AA – Liberal Arts, Mount San Antonio College, Walnut, CA

1993     BA – International Business/German, California State University, Fullerton, CA

1997     MS – Business Management, University of La Verne, Fairbanks, AK

2003     JD – Brigham Young University, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Provo, UT 1999     Squadron Officer School, Correspondence

2000     USMC Amphibious Warfare School, Seminar

2000     Squadron Officer School, Residence

2004     Air Command & Staff College, Correspondence

2011     Air War College, Correspondence, with Excellence



1.  November 1994 – March 1995, Officer Training School, Maxwell AFB, AL

2.  March 1995 – June 1997, Commander, Fuels Management Flight, Eielson AFB, AK

3.  June 1997 – January 1998, Commander, Material Management Flight, Eielson AFB, AK

4.  January 1998 – March 1999, Commander, Combat Ops Support Flight, Dover AFB, DE

5.  March 1999 – July 1999, Commander, Maintenance Flight, Dover AFB, DE

6.  July 1999 – July 2000, Asst. Flight Line Maintenance Supervisor, Dover AFB, DE

7.  August 2000 – August 2003, AFIT Student, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT

8.  August 2003 – July 2005, Chief, Operations and Readiness Law, Elmendorf AFB, AK

9.  July 2005 – September 2007, Deputy Staff Judge Advocate, 95 ABW/JA, Edwards AFB, CA

10.  October – February 2006, Deputy Team Chief and Trial Counsel, VTC Trial Team, JTF-134, Baghdad, Iraq

11.  May 2007 – September 2007, Chief, Intelligence Law, JTF-GTMO, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

12.  September 2007 – August 2008, Executive Officer to the Staff Judge Advocate, Air Force Space Command, Peterson AFB, CO

13.  August 2008 – July 2009, Chief, Civil Law, Air Force Space Command, Peterson AFB, CO

14.  July 2009 – July 2011, Appellate Defense Counsel, AFLOA/JAJA, JBANAF, MD

15.  July 2011 – July 2014, Deputy Staff Judge Advocate, HQ 20 AF/JA, F.E. Warren AFB, WY

16.  May 2012 – Nov 2012, Chief Legal Advisor to NATO Commander, Bosnia, Camp Butmir, Sarajevo

17.  July 2014 – Nov 2014, Terminal Leave

18.  Dec 1, 2014 – Retired



Defense Meritorious Service Medal

Meritorious Service Medal w/ 4 OLC

Air Force Commendation Medal w/ 1 OLC

Army Commendation Medal

Joint Service Commendation Medal w/ 2 OLC

Air Force Achievement Medal

Air Force Outstanding Unit Award w/ 2 OLC

Armed Forces Expeditionary Service Medal

Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon w/ gold border w/ 1 Device

Iraqi Campaign Medal

NATO Medal



Second Lieutenant         17 March 1995

First Lieutenant              17 March 1997

Captain                              17 March 1999

Major                                    1 June 2005

Lt Col                                     1 May 2011

(Current as of Jul 2014)