Lt. Gen. John R. (Bob) Wood, USA (Ret.)

Executive Vice President
AFCEA International


John R. (Bob) Wood, Lieutenant General (retired), served over thirty-six years as an officer in the United States Army. As a commander, he led soldiers at all levels of responsibility from platoon to division. As a staff officer, his experience ranges from tactical level with coalition forces in combat, through Army level in the aftermath of 9/11, to the national level in the National Security Council during the Reagan administration. In his last assignment on active duty, he was the Deputy Commander of the United States Joint Forces Command where he led the daily activities of the largest joint command in the military responsible for all joint experimentation, training, capability development, and force deployments.

In Desert Storm, Bob led his battalion in support of ground offensive operations supporting both the French and the US forces. He later served as chief of staff in Bosnia-Herzegovina where he shaped and supervised activities of the major US component headquarters executing multinational and NATO operations. His leadership capabilities were recognized by his appointment as deputy commandant of the United States Army’s Command and General Staff College. In this role, he led the Army’s premier staff training and leadership development organization as it introduced new operational doctrine and staff planning designs for the post Cold War Army. He was subsequently tasked to craft the Army’s 21st century leader development strategy. As commander of the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea, he was responsible for all training, personnel readiness, sustainment, and combat operations of the largest, most combat ready US Army force defending the Republic of Korea and supporting alliance operations in NE Asia.

In the Pentagon, as both a division chief (DAMO-SSP) and later Army Staff Director (DAMO-SS), Bob participated in or led multiple DA planning activities (e.g. Bottom Up Review) and Army roles and missions reviews (e.g. two QDR’s). He also developed and implemented the US Army’s strategic response plan for combating worldwide terrorism in the wake of 9/11. He led the efforts of 22 worldwide Army commands and a select team of 200 planners through an intensive planning and execution effort that instituted three new planning processes and produced DA headquarters redesign and strategic guidance that still guide the Army today. Further, he led the Army’s Pentagon planning for Rwanda, Haiti, Somalia, Bosnia, Afghanistan, and initial Iraq operations. As a White House Fellow in the National Security Council, he helped craft presidential directives and public policy guidance for Defense planning, the Strategic Defense Initiative, and critical arms control actions.

While the Director of Joint Experimentation at US Joint Forces Command, Bob designed and led a broad range of defense experiments to define DoD’s newest operational concepts underlying planning, command and control, and security operations for the 21st Century. He built broad experience in Joint and senior HQ staff design, IT testing and integration, intelligence fusion and integration, and concept development. Finally, as Deputy Commander of USJFCOM, he used his skills and understanding of senior staff management and strategic planning to successfully oversee all staff, fiscal management, and headquarters transformation activities in this combatant command. He led numerous initiatives with the Director of the Joint Staff to streamline and automate Joint planning processes and improve global force integration across the entire Joint Force.

Bob has degrees from the United States Military Academy (BS), the University of Chicago (MBA), and the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (Master of Military Art). His secondary specialty while in the Army was Operations and Research Analysis (ORSA). He taught both economics and operations research while an assistant professor at West Point. He was selected as a White House Fellow in 1984 and served in the Reagan White House on the National Security Council. He was also a fellow at the Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University (1993).

Upon retirement from the Army in 2009, Bob established a consulting partnership in Alexandria, Virginia, concentrating on strategic planning, leader development, and business development. In 2013, Bob assumed his present role as Executive Vice President of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA International). In this role, Bob oversees all events and development associated with the defense and homeland security sector for this large defense and security trade association.