Col. John McDonald became the 33rd commander of Tobyhanna Army Depot on June 17, 2019. As the commander for 4,000 personnel, his responsibilities include supporting global readiness for Command, Control, Communications, Computer, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) systems across the Department of Defense.
McDonald started his military career as a parachute rigger with the 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Quartermaster Corps after completion of the Reserve Officer Training Corps program and earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. McDonald also has Master of Science degrees in Logistics Management from Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Florida, and National Resource Strategy from the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Resource Strategy, Fort McNair, Washington, DC.
An assignment as a staff officer in the 7th Special Forces Group lead to a number of management roles in the 528th Special Operations Support Battalion, Special Operations Support Command also at Fort Bragg. While there he served as transportation platoon leader, supply and services platoon leader, executive officer, deployment team leader and support operations plans officer. He later served as company commander for the 244th Quartermaster Battalion and 23rd Quartermaster Brigade supply officer while stationed at Fort Lee, Virginia.
In 2005, he worked with the Iraqi Assistance Group as a military transition team advisor to the 3rd Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
A few years later, he deployed to Kuwait with the 1st Theater Sustainment Command from Fort Bragg, as the secretary to the general staff. McDonald also served the sustainment command as the unit’s special troops battalion’s training, operations officer and then executive officer. He was the executive officer to the commanding general when he deployed to Southwest Asia for a fourth time during operations New Dawn and Enduring Freedom. In 2012, McDonald was named the deputy chief of staff for plans and exercises for the sustainment command.
A year later, he deployed to Afghanistan while assigned as the 10th Sustainment Brigade Support Operations Officer at Fort Drum, New York. As commander of the Army Field Support Battalion at Fort Drum, McDonald presided over nine logistics readiness centers in the northeast and Fort Polk, Louisiana. He was the deputy commander of the 10th Mountain Division Sustainment Brigade until he attended the Eisenhower School in 2017.
His most recent assignment was deputy of the Logistics Initiatives Group, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G4, at the Pentagon.
His military schooling includes Officers Basic Course and Combined Logistics Officer Advanced Course, Fort Lee, Virginia; Combined Arms and Services Staff School, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; Logistics Executive Development Course, Fort Lee, Virginia; Intermediate Level Education, Fort Leavenworth, and the Eisenhower School.
Military decorations and awards include the Bronze Star Medal with three oak leaf clusters (OLC), Meritorious Service Medal with three OLCs, Commendation Medal with two OLCs, Achievement Medal with two OLCs, Joint Meritorious Unit Award with one OLC, Meritorious Unit Citation, National Defense Service Medal with two bronze stars, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal with two campaign stars, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon number three, NATO Medal (Multi-National Security Transition Command), NATO Medal (International Security Assistance Force), Combat Action Badge, Master Rated Parachutist Badge, Pathfinder Badge and Parachute Rigger Badge.