Colonel John L. Dawber currently serves as the Deputy Commander for Operations for the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command (USASMDC) at Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado.
COL Dawber is a ROTC Distinguished Military Graduate from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas. After earning a Bachelor’s in Business Administration degree, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army, Air Defense Artillery Branch. Following the ADA Officer Basic Course, COL Dawber was assigned as a Platoon Leader in C Battery, 4-43rd ADA, Fort Hood, TX and Fort Bliss, TX. He was later assigned to B Battery, 1-1st ADA, Fort Bliss, TX as an Executive Officer. Afterwards, he attended the ADA Officer Advanced Course at Fort Bliss, TX and the Combined Arms Services Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, KS.
COL Dawber returned to Fort Bliss, TX to serve as the Brigade Fire Direction Center Officer-in-Charge and Deputy Brigade S3 of the 11th ADA Brigade. He then took command of A Battery, 5-52nd ADA BN, Fort Bliss, TX. Following command, he was reassigned to the 11th ADA Brigade as the Deputy Brigade S3, serving in this capacity for Operation Iraqi Freedom. COL Dawber was selected for the Office of Secretary Defense/Joint Chiefs of Staff intern program and was subsequently assigned to the Pentagon. He was assigned to the Joint Staff J5 Political-Military Directorate, where his portfolio included training and equipping of Iraq Security Forces coupled with Coalition Operations for both Iraq and Afghanistan. Subsequently, he served on the Army G8 Staff as the System Synchronization Officer for the Patriot and MEADS weapon system programs. In 2006, COL Dawber earned his Master's Degree in Policy Management from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He then attended the resident Command and General Staff College (CGSC) at Fort Leavenworth, KS. He was subsequently assigned to 5-7th ADA BN in Hanau and Kaiserslautern, GE, as the Operations Officer (S3) and then Executive Officer. He next served as the Brigade S3 for the 357th Army Air and Missile Defense, Kaiserslautern, GE. He was then assigned to Fort Knox, KY with the U.S. Army Human Resources Command Officer Personnel Management Division (OPMD), where he served as the Lieutenant Colonel Assignments Officer, Executive Officer, and Interim Branch Chief for the ADA Branch. He was then selected to serve as Chief, Operations Branch, OPMD. COL Dawber moved on to command 3-2nd ADA BN at Fort Sill, OK. After earning his Master's Degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, PA, he served as the G3 for 94th AAMDC at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam, HI. He then served as the Deputy Commanding Officer, 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command, Fort Bliss, TX, before assuming command of the 11th Air Defense Artillery "Imperial" Brigade. He next served as Division Chief, Joint Staff J36 Homeland Defense at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., where he also held simultaneous duty as an alternate Deputy Director for Operations (DDO) in the National Military Command Center. COL Dawber then served as Deputy Director, DAMO-Fires, HQDA DCS G-3/5/7, in Arlington, Virgina until his arrival to the U.S. Space and Missile Defense Command in July 2023. During this time, he also completed the U.S. Army Space Cadre Basic Course.
COL Dawber has deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Al Udeid Airbase, Qatar; Operation Active Fence, Gaziantep, Turkey; Joint Task Force-East, Bulgaria; Operation Iraqi Freedom; Operation Desert Thunder, Joint Task Force-South West Asia, Kuwait; and Operation Southern Watch, Saudi Arabia.
His awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (with 4 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters), Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (with 4 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (with 1 Silver and 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster), Army Achievement Medal (with 3 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters) Joint Meritorious Unit Award (with 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster), Meritorious Unit Citation (with 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster), Army Superior Unit Award, National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, Global War Terrorism Expeditionary Medal (with 2 Bronze Service Stars), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (numeral 2), Basic Parachute Badge, Basic Space Badge, Joint Staff Identification Badge, and Army Staff Identification Badge.