Ian Johnston ?15

Ian Johnston

Class Year


Current home

Ft. Bliss, Texas


International Political Economy

Current Position

Bradley Fighting Vehicle Commander

Ian Johnston ’15 is a combat engineer in the United States Army. As commander of the Bradley Fighting Vehicles — an armored fighting vehicle, he is responsible for the training of soldiers and BFV maintenance. His missions focus on mobility, counter-mobility, and survivability.

Commander Johnston, an IPE major, says Professor Art Cyr played a vital role in his success. He says Professor Cyr along with several other faculty continue to be great mentors and friends to this day.

“Everyone I encountered in my time at Carthage believed in helping those around them.”

Ian Johnston, ’15

What have you enjoyed most about your career?

“The ability to contribute to an incredibly large team where the everyday efforts are directly related to the success of the United States as a whole.”

How did Carthage prepare you?

“The close-knit community that helped me thrive while at Carthage is very much the same as in the military. Everyone I encountered in my time at Carthage believed in helping those around them to see everyone succeed at whatever they were trying to accomplish.”

How has your liberal arts education benefitted you?

“Our unit’s commander demands that every soldier master three fundamentals. Shoot, move, and communicate. While I did not learn how to shoot and move tactfully at Carthage, I did work constantly on my communication. Developing the ability to realize who you are addressing (superiors, subordinates, and/or peers) and then determine how to express your message in the most direct and informative way possible allows you and your team to be successful and stand out from your peers. No matter how much planning goes into a mission or task that my unit must complete, the execution never goes 100 percent in sync. There are always factors that arise and force us to think and react quickly.”


What's your favorite Carthage memory?

“All my time with the brothers of Tau Sigma Phi (Sigs Up). J-Term trips to New Zealand, South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Zambia, and New Orleans.”

Tips for current Carthage students?

Get involved with as many people around campus as possible. There are great people all across campus in many different departments and organizations. Don’t limit yourself to a small or select group of friends.”

Are you a Carthage alum who is excelling in your field?