Senior Advisory Panel

Brigadier General John R. Thomas, USMC (Ret.)

John Thomas currently serves as a strategic business advisor to the IBM Corporation, as well as an independent information services and technology consultant.  Prior to his current role, he served as an Account Executive for multiple accounts to include the US Marine Corps, Joint Commands, and Defense Agencies in IBM Global Business Services.  Other positions held in IBM included Delivery Executive for Application Innovation Services, and a program executive for DOD’s Business Management Modernization Program. He joined IBM in February 2005.

Before joining IBM, he served in the United States Marine Corps for 32 years. In his last active duty assignment, he served as the Marine Corps’ Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Director for Command, Control, Communications, and Computers (C4).

Other key military assignments included:

  • Commander, Marine Corps Component, Joint Task Force for Global Network Operations
  • Commanding Officer, 1st Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Intelligence Group, I MEF
  • Commanding Officer, 7th Communications Battalion, III MEF
  • Commanding Officer, Communications Company, 3d FSSG
  • Platoon Commander, Communications Company, 2DMARDIV
  • Detachment Commander, Humanitarian Relief Operations in the Philippines
  • Assistant Deputy Commandant Programs, Programs and Resources HQMC
  • Assistant Chief of Staff G-6, Marine Forces Pacific
  • Assistant Chief of Staff G-6, I Marine Expeditionary Force
  • Chief, Command Centers Support Division (J6C), C4 Directorate (J6), Joint Staff, Pentagon
  • Communications Support Officer, National Military Command Center (NMCC), Pentagon
  • Program Coordinator, Space, Command and Control Directorate, CNO, Pentagon

A native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, he enrolled in the Marine Corps Platoon Leaders Class in January 1971 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in May 1973 from Appalachian State University.  He completed the Basic School and the Basic Communication Officers Course at Quantico, Virginia in August 1974.

John Thomas is a graduate of Appalachian State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education.  He holds a Master in Business Administration from Prairie View A&M University, and a Master of Science in National Security & Strategic Studies from the Naval War College.

His medals and personal decorations include the Legion of Merit, Defense Superior Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and Humanitarian Service Medal.