COL John Cochran
Former Director of the Secretary of Defense’s Close Combat Lethality Task Force and AI for Maneuver Working Group
U.S. Department of Defense (DOD)
COL Johnny Cochran is a visionary change agent with over 25 years of service, Most recently, he has had the honor of serving as a direct report to the Secretary of Defense, as the Director of the DoD Close Combat Lethality Task Force (CCLTF).
As the former Director of the CCLTF, he was responsible for guiding the program management, strategic planning, defense acquisition, military programs oversight, direct congressional engagement, and program resourcing of close combat lethality initiatives on behalf of the Secretary of Defense. This job was the culmination of a military career that has encompassed years of experience in Army Aviation, Headquarters Department of the Department of the Army, Deputy Chief of Staff G-3/5/7 (Requirements). In this role, he served as a senior strategist in the management of the Army Aviation Restructure Initiative and the National Commission on the Future of the Army. During his time assigned to the Deputy Chief of Staff G-8 (Resourcing) he functioned as a strategic planner for the Army Aviation Force Development Division in the concept development and strategic design of the Army’s Aviation’s modernization strategy. While on the Joint Staff, Johnny performed duties as the Land Force and Special Operation Forces requirements portfolio manager for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, J-8. In this capacity served as a subject matter expert to the Joint Staff and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on matters concerning the development and acquisition of future capabilities for the joint force. In addition, he, managed the analysis and formulation of recommendations on DoD Joint capabilities, programs, and initiatives to identify capability shortfalls, associated risks, and associated recommendations to reduce operational and strategic risk to the DoD. Following his time on the Joint Staff, he was assigned to the position of Deputy Director, Science, Technology and Acquisitions for the Secretary of Defense’s, Close Combat Lethality Task Force, responsible for managing and synchronizing the CCLTF’s science, technology and acquisition initiatives across the DoD, academia and industry. During this period he also established and led the AI for Small Unit Maneuver DoD Executive working group in support of the Joint AI Center (JAIC) in order to develop, coordinate and synchronize Warfighter AI initiatives across the entire DoD, academia and industry. COL Cochran is currently serving as a National Security Fellow for Senator Mike Rounds (SD), in support of his responsibilities on the Senate Armed Services and Veteran Affairs committees.
COL Johnny Cochran has commanded and Apache Helicopter Battalion in combat is support of contingency operations in the middle east and has multiple combat tours to Iraq and Afghanistan. He currently on the Board of Directors for the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the nation’s largest non-profit dedicated to ending homelessness. As well as, Operation Renewed Hope Foundation, dedicated to ending Veteran Homelessness.
As part of his pedigree, Johnny is a graduate from Occidental College, commissioned into the service through the University of California, Los Angeles and studied at the prestigious National War College to receive a degree in National Security and Strategic Studies. Johnny also holds a master’s degrees in Business Administration from Webster University.