- State College Area School District
- Distinguished Alumni
2019 Oscar J. Johnston
Oscar “O.J.” Johnston, Col., U.S.A.F. (Ret.), SCAHS Class of 1967, is recognized for his distinguished military career and service to the community.
A highly decorated Command Pilot, Colonel Johnston served in the U.S. Air Force for 26 years. A B-52 pilot in Strategic Air Command until the conclusion of the Cold War, he continued flying as a test pilot on many high-profile flights, testing advanced nuclear weapons. Col. Johnston was also assigned to the Pentagon, twice.
During the first assignment, he authored the Air Force’s Congressional Bomber Study and it’s Standoff Weapons Master Plan, both submitted to Congress. He also routinely briefed the Joint Chiefs of Staff on details of the nation’s most highly classified weapons and related arms control issues during this time. Col. Johnston returned to B-52 Operations in 1989, leading a squadron of 650 airmen during Operation Desert Storm. Under his leadership, his squadron was selected “The Best in the Air Force” in 1991.
Col. Johnston then returned to the Pentagon where he managed the nation’s investment in stealth technologies and directed the acquisition and exploitation of enemy weapon systems, and frequently witnessing in Congressional testimony on highly classified, special access issues.
Retiring from the Air Force, Col. Johnston immediately joined Raytheon Company, retiring from there after 15 years as the Manager of Department of Defense Programs at its State College facility.
O.J. sits on multiple local Boards of Directors including Kish Bank, the Chamber of Business and Industry (CBICC), Centre Foundation, Centre Volunteers in Medicine, The State Theater, the Private Industry Council of the Central Corridor (PICCC), and J.C. Blair Hospital Foundation.