Livingston, Texas native born to lead the Corps

5 Oct 2005 | Pfc. Terrell A. Turner

Staff Sergeant Eric D. Johnson knows no limit to what he can accomplish. 

The Livingston, Texas, native, fueled by a desire to teach Marines and lead from the front, manages to excel at his job while juggling an active life in the community and a family at the same time.

The 30-year-old works as the G-3 operations chief for 2nd Marine Division, a billet usually held by a master gunnery sergeant, and Johnson thrives at the challenge.

In his 11-year career Johnson has held many billets including motor transportation chief, Truck Company gunnery sergeant and platoon sergeant for 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment while serving with the 3rd Marine Division.  Some of his other billets have included safety officer, safety chief and equal opportunity representative while attached to the III Marine Expeditionary Force.

Johnson is no stranger to the word challenge after all he has been through.

Now, as the acting G-3 operations chief, his duties include maintaining logistics and training for units with the 2nd Marine Division.  This includes schools, ammunition, anti-terrorism programs, battalion readiness and annual requirements for the division.

Johnson maintains the type of leadership and experience needed to lead the Corps into the future.  He learned these skills at an early age.

Before graduating from Livingston High School in1994, Johnson joined the power-lifting and track teams.  He was also captain of the football team, gaining even more leadership experience.

Johnson also managed to participate in extra curricular activities, including choir and poetry, in addition to his sports.

Johnson found himself looking for his next challenge after graduation.  The need to excel coupled with an intense family rivalry drove him towards the Marine Corps.     

“I joined the Marine Corps because my uncle said I couldn’t do it,” Johnson said. “My uncle’s now a gunnery sergeant and I plan to catch him.”

Eleven years later Johnson has become a goal-oriented Marine capable of juggling leadership and responsibility.

“I plan to stay physically fit, strive to get to the next level, and teach Marines to be self-sufficient in military and civilian life,” Johnson explained.  “I believe leaders should take an active role in taking care of their junior Marines.”

Johnson leads from the front as a Marine while he also manages to lead a full life outside of the Corps.

“I hold a weekly bible study and also coach my son’s 11 to 13-year-old soccer team,” Johnson said.  “I also spend a lot of my free time fishing and golfing.”

Johnson already has his immediate future planned out in the Corps.

“I want to go to 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment ,” Johnson explained.  “After that I want to be an instructor at the School of Infantry, followed by a tour of recruiting duty.  Then I want to return to III MEF.”