Episode #238 with Major (ret) John Wagner.
Mr. John Wagner is a Native of Athens, OH and graduated from Ohio University’s College of Communications in 1985, and was commissioned in the U.S. Army from OU’s ROTC the same year. Tonight John is joining Stew as not on a guest, but also a guest-host.
John has extensive experience in both the Military and Civilian realms. He has 35 years in Active Duty, Reserve and National Guard service and 22 straight months in Iraq and Kuwait. While deployed to OIF I and II, he served in various positions on the staffs of Lt Generals David McKiernan, Rick Sanchez, GEN George Casey, Under Secretary of the Navy (Admiral) Greg Slavonic, and Major General Erv Lessel. His assignments included handling media during Saddam Hussein’s arraignment, numerous press conferences, and serving as the Intelligence Liaison to the Interim Iraqi Government under MG Barb Fast. He developed U.S. media strategy for addressing anti-coalition press and propaganda in Arab media during the battles of An Najaf and Fallujah, as well as many other special assignments in Baghdad.
Most recently, John was appointed as the Associate Commissioner for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, having been appointed by the White House to head all public communications strategy for the agency. Following his appointment to FDA, he was further detailed to act as Senior Strategy Advisor to the head of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), another large division within Health and Human Services (HHS). There he advised leadership on COVID and health administration messaging and strategy, as well as liaised with the Operation Warp Speed leadership.
His first appointment as a Senior Government official was as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary at the department of Veterans Affairs. John was the senior executive under the Assistant Secretary, overseeing Intergovernmental and Public Affairs operations. Mr. Wagner advised the Secretary, White House, and other senior government officials regarding Veterans issues and directed the ChooseVA and other national marketing and awareness campaigns.
Prior to his latest Government service, John served as the Deputy Director of Communications during the GOP Convention in Cleveland, where he supervised media engagements, established surrogates for the then-candidate Mr. Trump, and developed communications plans.
Prior to joining the administration, Mr. Wagner served at U.S. CENTCOM as an Intel Analyst and media consultant as well as a Public Affairs officer. He served with CENTCOM for 7 years, covering operations and Special Operations activities. John has done a number of other things in his career like; being heavily involved in Hurricane Katrina, where he developed the briefing and presentation material for the Joint Chiefs and the Secretary of Defense for the commander of US NORTHCOM, was a founding partner/owner and CTO for an airline based overseas and has also worked as an independent IT consultant. He is an experienced leader and technologist with over twenty years of experience in Information Technology within the Fortune 100 companies. All of that and he has worked in Defense arena, where John was a Senior Consultant to Boeing Aerospace as a lead consultant for the Future Combat Systems development, on the C4ISR and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle platforms, developing and assisting with integration models and methods.
On the side, and outside all of this, John is heavily involved in the development of ”New Media” – writing for one of the largest and most awarded military blogs (milblogs) on the internet – BlackFive.net and has been a contributing writer to Pajamas Media and other outlets. He was involved in the founding of a new Veterans Organization- the Warrior Legacy Foundation, was also a founding member of a New Media company whose focus was to bring Soldier-related content to both New Media and ‘Legacy Media’ outlets. This company was called SOG Media- Special Observers Guild.
John has an extensive background in public speaking and addressing the media. He has been interviewed on CNN, Fox, BBC, AP, as well as many other publications around the world. He has interviewed with the NY Times, Washington Post, Dallas Morning News, LA Times, and other regional publications. He has been a featured speaker for US Congressmen and Senators, as well as many large corporations. He speaks on a variety of issues, from Technology to the Military, to his experiences overseas.
Please plan to join us tonight 8:00PM EST on all of our outlets to listen live or come back anytime to watch/listen later. Find us on Periscope, Twitch, Facebook Live, You Tube or listen on Spreaker ,iTunes, Spotify and iHeartRadio.