Introducing Lt. Col. Jennifer Johnson: 17th HCOS commander

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jermaine Ayers
  • 17th Training Wing Public Affairs

Not many of us can say we were born in the city where the atomic bomb was developed, but for the new commander of the 17th Healthcare Operations Squadron, this is only the first part of her unique story.

Lt. Col. Jennifer Johnson took command of the 17th HCOS on June 10, where she shared details on her childhood, family life, Air Force career, and her plans for Goodfellow moving forward.

Growing up in the small town of Los Alamos, New Mexico, Johnson described her childhood as one she remembers fondly.

“I grew up with one brother and one sister,” said Johnson. “I had a great childhood. The community I grew up in was very safe and it offered the opportunity to be close to nature.”

After graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 2002, Johnson went directly into the U.S. Army Baylor Physical Therapy Program, which is where she received her initial training as a physical therapist.

“As a physical therapist, I love connecting with patients to really understand them as people,” said Johnson. “I enjoy uncovering what may be contributing to their injuries and providing them with the tools to get better.”

Prior to coming to Goodfellow, Johnson served as the chief of the sports medicine branch in the Air Force Special Operations Command.

“I was the first physical therapist to be assigned in this role and had the unique opportunity to shape my role,” said Johnson. “My primary focus was to serve as a medical consultant for the AFSOC Integrated Resilience Optimization Program or IRON.”

The program aimed to align medical, performance enhancement, and resilience assets under one program to improve the way they care for warfighters.

Johnson recently hit 20 years of service and has been married to her husband Lt. Col. Jeremiah Johnson for 15 years, sharing three children together: Mason, Isaac and Maggie.

“Our home life is busy with homework and extra-curricular activities, but fun,” said Johnson. “Personally, I enjoy running and other forms of exercise, as well as cooking and reading in my down time.”

When asked about Goodfellow, Johnson is excited to be here with her family, and is ready to lead.

“My family and I are happy to be at Goodfellow,” said Johnson. “San Angelo is a good sized city and I am excited to learn more about the 17th Training Wing mission, and understand how medics can better support our joint warfighters.”

The members of the 17th HCOS produce ready medics, deliver direct patient care, provide ancillary services, and perform many support functions which enable the 17th Medical Group to function effectively in support of the medical readiness of the Goodfellow community.

As a leader, Johnson aims to empower her people and prepare them for whatever the 17th TRW mission requires.

“My leadership philosophy focuses on taking care of people and cultivating the right environment,” said Johnson. “If we get these things right, members will feel able to communicate openly, empowered to solve the most complex challenges, and work together to maximize mission effectiveness.”

Looking to impact the 17th HCOS and the Goodfellow community, Johnson wants to create the right atmosphere for her Airmen to reach their full potential.