Capt. Charles "Brian" Johnston, a native of Brocton, retired from the United States Navy on Sept. 1, 2013 after 30 years of service. Capt. Johnston graduated from the Pennsylvania State University in 1983 with a bachelor of science degree in aerospace engineering. Shortly afterward, he received his commission as an officer in the U.S. Navy and was designated as a cryptologic officer (1610). He subsequently graduated from the Defense Language Institute (Russian language) and was assigned as the operations officer at U.S. Naval Security Group Activity at Hellenikon Air Force Base in Athens, Greece. He qualified as a special evaluator aboard EP-3 aircraft and accumulated over 800 flight hours in numerous operational missions throughout the Mediterranean. He also led operational deployment teams aboard the USS King (DDG 41) and the USS Wainwright (CG 28).
Captain Johnston graduated from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School with a master's degree in systems technology (space systems operations) in 1990. He then reported to the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory as the director of the mission support facility for the Classic Wizard Program. In 1995, he was assigned to lead over 200 personnel at the U.S. Naval Security Group Department in Diego, Garcia. He then received orders to the chief of naval operations in the Space, Communications and Electronic Warfare, Washington, DC, as an officer in the Tactical Exploitation of National Capabilities (TENCAP) office.
Captain Johnston received orders to the U.S. Fifth Fleet in Bahrain in 1998, where he served as the collections manager in the Intelligence Department. He was then assigned to the commander of the U.S. Pacific Command at Camp Smith, Hawaii, where he led the branch responsible for intelligence collection and information operations support. In 2002, he transferred to the Naval Information Warfare Activity (NIWA) at Fort George G. Meade, Md. There he served as the technology department head as well as technology lead for the U.S. Naval Security Group Command. After being promoted to Captain, he was assigned as a special assistant to the director of communication networks (N6) for the chief of Naval Operations.
Captain Johnston graduated from the National War College with a master's degree in national security strategy in June of 2008. He reported to the Navy Information Operations Command in Norfolk in July 2008 as executive officer.
He assumed the duties of commanding officer at the Navy Information Operations Command in Norfolk on April 22, 2010. In that capacity, he commanded over 350 personnel conducting information operations, electronic warfare and cyber operations and training. He also served as task force commander for the Navy's Task Force 1030, comprised of three commands with a contingent of over 800 personnel.
After a successful tour, he relinquished command in October and reported to Navy Cyber Forces where he became the director of Readiness and Modernization, leading over 200 personnel. His decorations include three Legions of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, three Meritorious Service Medals and numerous other personal, unit and campaign awards.
Captain Johnston is the son of Charles and Kathryn Johnston of Brocton. Among the local people who attended the ceremony were Julie, Fred, Katie and Erin Morrison, Michael and Steven Johnston, and Beverly Salhoff Kingsley.