COL David Johnson serves as the subject matter expert (SME) in Forensic Psychiatry for the Army, serving as forensic psychiatry consultant to the Army Office of the Surgeon General and serves as Chief of the Center for Forensic Behavioral Sciences (CFBS) at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC). CFBS serves as the only dedicated facility for forensic psychiatry and forensic psychology within the Department of Defense, offering forensic consultation to courts-martial worldwide for DoD and the Coast Guard as well as to federal and military law enforcement and intelligence operations. His work at CFBS began in June 2012, when he served as the Program Director for the National Capital Consortium Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship training program until June 2018. During that period, he was responsible for the training of all Army and Navy forensic psychiatrists.
COL Johnson earned two degrees at the University of California at Berkeley in Molecular Cell Biology and Physical Anthropology in 1996. COL Johnson completed medical school at the Uniformed Services University (USU) in 2000, completed General Psychiatry residency at the old Walter Reed in 2004, and completed forensic psychiatry fellowship training there in 2005. His first duty assignment was as Division Psychiatrist for the 1st Infantry Division in Wuerzburg, Germany. He led all Behavioral Health operations in support of Schweinfurt, Germany from 2006 to 2010, supporting the 172nd Infantry Brigade. He led Behavioral Health operations for Weed Army Community Hospital at the National Training Center (NTC) in Fort Irwin, California from 2010–2012. He deployed in support of both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in support of warfighting efforts, and has travelled on separate short-term missions to both theaters as well.
COL Johnson has performed services for over 200 courts-martial, from R.C.M. 706 evaluations to expert testimony. He served as medical/psychiatric SME for the 15-6 investigation into the Fort Hood mass shooting of 2014 by SPC Ivan Lopez. COL Johnson has supported military commissions by conducting court-ordered evaluations on detainees involved with the U.S.S. Cole bombing and the 9/11 attacks. He has given numerous presentations at national and Judge Advocate General (JAG) conferences on military sexual assault, the military disability process, and other forensic topics. He has co-authored chapters for multiple textbooks and is a co-author of a significant paper regarding the use of military unit watches for potentially suicidal or homicidal service members.
COL Johnson’s military awards include the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal (1 OLC), the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, and the Army Achievement Medal (2 OLC). He is a member of the Order of Military Medical Merit, holds the Army’s Proficiency “A” Designator, and holds Master Clinician status at WRNMMC.