John Wharton was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army following his graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1981. His first assignment was Fort Hood, Texas, where he served as main supply platoon leader and company commander, 15th Supply and Transport Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division. In 1985, he transferred to the Dragon Brigade, XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and later deployed to Sinai, Egypt, with Task Force 3-502nd Infantry, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) as part of the Multinational Force and Observers. He remained deployed with TF 2-504th Parachute Infantry Regiment (Airborne), 82nd Airborne Division, becoming the first commander of the Support Company, Logistical Support Unit. In 1986, Wharton assumed duties as an inspector general to the U.S. Army Western Command at Fort Shafter, Hawaii. Following that tour, he served as battalion S-3 in the 25th Supply and Transport Battalion, 25th Infantry Division (Light), Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. From 1992 to 1994 he was the Lieutenant Colonels’ Assignments Officer at the U.S. Army’s Personnel Command, Alexandria, Virginia, and then moved to Fort Drum, New York, to be battalion executive officer in the 210th Forward Support Battalion, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) and later deployed to OPERATION RESTORE/UPHOLD DEMOCRACY as the Battalion Commander (Forward). Following the deployment, he remained at Fort Drum as chief, Division Materiel Management Center, 10th Mountain Division Support Command from 1995 to 1996. For the next two years he served as a joint Strategy Planner in the Logistics Directorate, J-4, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C. In 1998, he took command of the 1st United States Army Support Battalion, 507th Corps Support Group (Airborne), MFO, Sinai, Egypt. After command, he served a second tour at PERSCOM as the quartermaster branch chief.
In 2001, Wharton assumed brigade command of the 55th Theater Support Command (AC/RC), Eighth United States Army. From 2003 to 2004, he led the CSA’s Task Force Logistics and was subsequently selected to be Deputy Commander (Futures), U.S. Army Combined Arms Support Command. In 2006 he became director, Army Initiatives Group, Army G-4, followed by executive officer to the HQDA Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, G-4, Washington, D.C. In 2008, he deployed to Kuwait as commanding general, AMC-SWA/ U.S. Army Central G-4/CFLCC C-4 for Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. He was the U.S. Army Material Command chief of staff from November 2009 to March 2012. Wharton was then assigned as Commanding General, U.S. Army Sustainment Command (ASC) and Rock Island Arsenal, and as the senior commander for U.S. Army Garrison, Rock Island, Illinois. As the ASC Commanding General, he led a global organization of over 65,000 soldiers, civilians and contractors, responsible for sustaining Army and joint forces in support of combatant commands. His final command on active duty was serving as the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. The RDECOM’s mission is to ensure decisive over match for unified land operations to empower the Army, the joint war fighter and our nation.
In addition to his degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point, his education included the Quartermaster Basic and Advanced Courses, the Inspector General’s Course, the Command and General Staff College, and the Naval War College. He holds a Master of Science degree in national security and strategic studies.
His awards include the Distinguished Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Legion of Merit (with two Oak Leaf Clusters), Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Meritorious Service Medal (with Silver Oak Leaf Cluster), Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal (with two Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal (with Service Star) and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. He also wears the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge, the Army Staff Identification Badge, and the Airborne and Air Assault Badges.
He is married and has two children.Watch Video