MG John W. Charlton was commissioned as a Distinguished Military Graduate and Infantry officer through Army ROTC at Washington State University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in Business Administration in May 1984.
After completing the Infantry Officer Basic Course at Fort Benning, Ga., he served as a platoon leader and later company executive officer in the 7th Infantry Division (Light) and 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. He completed the Infantry Officer Advanced Course at Fort Benning before being assigned to the 9th Infantry Division at Fort Lewis, Wash., where he served in S3 Operations and later as a company commander, and a Ranger Plans Officer in G3, I Corps, on the same installation.
MG Charlton served as an observer/controller at the Joint Readiness Training Center, Fort Polk, La., before becoming the Aide-de-Camp to the Commanding General, and later Operations Officer, Fifth U.S. Army, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, and United Nations Mission, Haiti. MG Charlton served as the Division Plans Officer for the 1st Infantry Division; Battalion S3 for 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry; and the Brigade Executive Officer for 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division while in Germany.
Upon returning to the United States, Charlton served as the Chief of Infantry Proponency at the U.S. Army Infantry School at Fort Benning. He assumed command of 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry, in July of 2002 in Kuwait and led Task Force 1-15 Infantry through a six-month Operation Desert Spring deployment, followed immediately by combat operations during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Charlton continued to serve with the 3rd Infantry Division as the G3 during its conversion to a modular force and a combat deployment to Iraq from June 2004 to June 2005.
MG Charlton served as Commander, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3d Infantry Division (Mechanized), and Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq. In June 2008, he was appointed Chief, Iraq Division, J-5, on the Joint Staff in Washington, D.C. In March of the following year, he became Assistant Deputy Director and then Deputy Director for Politico-Military Affairs (Middle-East) J-5, in the same office a year later.
Charlton served as Deputy Commander, Regional Command-East, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command, Operation Enduring Freedom, in Afghanistan from January 2012 to March 2013. He also served as the Commanding General, Brigade Modernization Command, Fort Bliss, Texas.
Prior to assuming his current position, he served as the Vice Director J7, Joint Staff in Suffolk, Virginia.
MG Charlton has earned master's degrees in Information System Management from Webster University, General Studies from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.
His awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Bronze Star Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Defense Meritorious Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (with four Oak Leaf Clusters), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (with six Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Achievement Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Combat Infantryman's Badge, Expert Infantryman's Badge, Senior Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge and Ranger Tab.