PAO says goodbye to deputy director Print E-mail
Wednesday, 31 May 2017
Robert Johnson, right, poses with LeVar Burton, host of “Reading Rainbow,” during the television star’s visit to Fort Leonard Wood in May of last year.
By Marti Yoshida

Public Affairs Office

After an award-winning career in journalism and communications spanning more than 31 years, the GUIDON’s former editor is retiring from civil service.

Robert Johnson, who departed from his current position as Fort Leonard Wood’s deputy public affairs officer Wednesday, led the GUIDON as managing editor for eight years from 2005 to 2013.

The GUIDON took first-place honors in the 2008 Department of Defense Thomas Jefferson Awards Program in the category of metro-sized newspaper during Johnson’s tenure.

To reach that summit, Johnson and the GUIDON team were required to compete in and win first place at both the Installation Management Command and Department of the Army levels in the same print category.

“When I came to Fort Leonard Wood to run the GUIDON, the highlight for me was taking the newspaper from being third place in a region with only three newspapers, to the best newspaper in the entire Department of Defense,” Johnson said. “I really don’t think anyone outside the public affairs community really understood the magnitude of that accomplishment.”

Over the years, Johnson and his GUIDON staffers received top honors for individual commentaries, features and the Moss-Holland Civilian Journalist of the Year categories.

“This is a bittersweet moment for our office,” said Tiffany Wood, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs director. “We are excited for the new opportunities that await Bob, but will truly miss his knowledge and expertise here.”

Current GUIDON managing editor, Stephen Standifird, said he will miss the mentorship Bob has provided almost daily on the newspaper.

“Bob has been a tremendous mentor and friend to me since I first got here almost three years ago,” he said. “Especially after I took over the newspaper in January. I can’t remember a week where I wasn’t asking questions or getting advice from him about the paper.”

Johnson’s expertise was shaped from the time he began his public affairs career in 1986 as a U.S. Army captain assigned to the Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Monroe, Virginia and through multiple deployments while on active-duty.

Johnson worked various public affairs roles — from media relations, to speech writer, to joint information center operations officer.

He also pursued a civilian career in newspaper while serving with the Ohio Army National Guard and later, with the 8th Army Reserves.

The former newspaperman does not plan to hang up his hat for long.

“I intend to write more,” Johnson said. “I have a couple plays in mind and a novel I have been working on for a couple years.”

“I will probably focus on gardening, cooking and bicycling,” he added. “I may go back on stage and do live theater again, as I have been in shows at both Ozarks Actors Theater and Theater on the Square, but that would depend on the show.”

Johnson and his wife, Mary Ellen, intend to stay in the area for the foreseeable future.

“One, I like the area and two, I can’t imagine moving all my junk from my workshop,” he said.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 15 June 2017 )