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Rebecca J. Johnson, Ph.D.

Vice President
Academic Affairs

Contact Information

Phone: (703) 784-6917
Email: rebecca.johnson@usmcu.edu
Areas of Interest: Development and Maintenance of Moral Fitness


Ph.D. Government, Georgetown University
M.A. Government, Georgetown University
M.Div. Wesley Theological Seminary
B.A. Government, University of Texas at Austin


Dr. Rebecca J. Johnson is the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Marine Corps University, a position she has held since February 2019. Previously, Dr. Johnson served as Dean of Academics and Deputy Director of the Marine Corps War College from November 2015-February 2019. She served on the faculty at the Command and Staff College from 2009-2015 and as chair of the University’s Faculty Council from 2012-2015, where she oversaw the development of MCU's Quality Enhancement Plan to foster students’ creative problem solving abilities. Before coming to MCU, Dr. Johnson taught at The Georgetown Public Policy Institute at Georgetown University, and from 2004 to 2008 was an Assistant Professor in the School of International Service at American University. From 2003-2005 Dr. Johnson served as the Academic Director for the South Carolina Washington Fellows Program at the University of South Carolina. Additionally, she has lectured on Balkan history for U.S. police officers preparing to deploy to the international policing mission in Kosovo through Civilian Police International and has taught undergraduate international ethics at Sookmyung Women's University in Seoul, ROK. In 2006 she was selected to participate in the United States Institute of Peace's faculty seminar on "Global Peace and Security from Multiple Perspectives".


Dr. Johnson's current research explores how to develop and maintain moral fitness. Her most recent publication, “Ethical Requirements of the Profession: Obligations of the Professional, the Profession, and the Client” appears in Finney and Mayfield (eds.) The Intersection of Profession and Ethics: Redefining the Modern Military (2018). She also serves on the Council for the National Capital-Area Political Science Association.


Dr. Johnson holds a B.A. (Government), from The University of Texas at Austin, an M.A. (Government), from Georgetown University, a Ph.D. (Government), also from Georgetown University, and a M.Div. from Wesley Theological Seminary.


Selected Publications

“Ethical Requirements of the Profession: Obligations of the Professional, the Profession, and the Client,” in Finney and Mayfield (eds.) The Intersection of Profession and Ethics: Redefining the Modern Military: US Naval Institute Press, 2018.

“Serving Two Masters: When Professional Ethics Collide with Personal Morality,” in George Lucas (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Military Ethics Abingdon: Routledge, 2015.

“Ethical Requirements of the Profession,” Strategy Bridge, January 26, 2015 (https://thestrategybridge.org/the-bridge/2016/2/1/ethical-requirements-of-the-profession).

“How Can Leaders Maintain Ethical Command Climates?” Combating Terrorism Exchange, Vol. 3, no. 2 (May 2013).

“The Wizard of Oz Goes to War: Unmanned Systems in Counterinsurgency,” in B.J. Strawser and Jeff McMahon (eds), Killing By Remote Control, New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.

“Moral Formation of the Strategic Corporal,” in Paolo Tripodi and Jessica Wolfendale (eds.), New Wars and New Soldiers: Military Ethics in the Contemporary World Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2012.

“Maintaining Discipline in Detainee Operations: Avoiding the Slippery Slope to Abuse,” Journal of Military Ethics 11, No. 4 (2012): 360-62.


“Fight Right to Fight Well: General McChrystal’s Approach to Preserving Noncombatant Immunity,” Small Wars Journal 6, No. 2 (April 2010).


“Jus Post Bellum and Counterinsurgency,” Journal of Military Ethics 7, No. 3 (September 2008): 215-230.