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Col. John Lesho is the Director of Safety for Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. He is responsible for all aspects of the command’s flight, ground, and weapons safety/mishaps prevention programs. He also advises AFRC leadership on all matters related to risk management and nuclear surety. He provides safety oversight for 35 wings, 10 independent groups, and more than 70,000 AFRC personnel.
Col. Lesho was commissioned through the U.S. Air Force Academy and entered active duty in 1998. He has served in a variety of flight, and evaluation positions in the Air Force and the Air Force Reserve. He flew as an Active Duty liaison to the Air National Guard from 2002-2005 and was initial Air Force Reserve cadre for the first A-10 Classic Association with the 23 Fighter Group at Moody AFB, Georgia. He has over 200 combat flight hours for Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.
Prior to his current assignment, Lesho was the Commander, 339th Flight Test Squadron. He was responsible for the readiness and welfare of highly-qualified aircrew and associated support personnel to conduct functional and acceptance check flights on non-airworthy aircraft upon completion of depot-level maintenance, and to recover battle-damaged aircraft from abroad. The mission of the 339 FLTS was returning mission-ready aircraft to the war fighter. He is a command pilot with over 4,000 flying hours, including more than 3,400 military flying hours. He has flown combat sorties in Operation’s ENDURING FREEDOM, FREEDOM’S SENTINEL, and patrolled the Korean Demilitarized Zone. In his civilian career, he is an airline pilot with a major U.S. carrier.
1998 Bachelor of Science, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
1998 Air/Space Basic Course, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2003 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2009 Air Command and Staff College, non-resident
2018 Army War College, non-resident
2018 Master of Arts degree, Army War College, Carlisle, Pa.
1. August 1998 - February 1999, Ops Support Officer, HQ Space Command, Peterson AFB, Colo.
2. March 1999 - April 2000 Undergraduate Pilot Training student, Columbus AFB, Miss.
3. May 2000 - August 2000 , Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals student, Distinguished Graduate, Columbus AFB, Miss.
4. September 2000 - March 2001, A/OA-10A Flight Training student, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.
5. April 2001 - December 2002, A/OA-10 Pilot & Forward Air Controller, 81st Fighter Squadron, Spangdahlem AB, Germ.
6. December 2002 - September 2005 A/OA-10 Instructor & Air National Guard Liaison, 104th Fighter Squadron, Warfield Air National Guard Base, Md.
7. September 2005 - September 2006, A/OA-10 Evaluator, Chief Stan/Eval, Flt/CC, 25th Fighter Squadron, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea
8. September 2006 - June 2009, A-10C Formal Training Unit Evaluator, Director of Academics, 355th Fighter Group, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.
9. July 2009-– August 2011, A-10C Total Force Integration Reserve Cadre, 23d Fighter Group, Moody Air Force Base, Ga.
10. August 2011 - October 2015, A-10C Total Force Integration Formal Training Unit Evaluator, Safety Officer, 47th Fighter Squadron, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.
11. October 2015 – September 2018, A-10C Subject Matter Expert & Functional Area Manager, Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command, Combat Operations Division, Robins Air Force Base, Ga.
12. September 2018 – September 2020, Commander, 339th Flight Test Squadron, Robins Air Force Base, Ga.
13. September 2020 – Present, Director of Safety, Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command, Robins Air Force Base, Ga.
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight Hours: More than 3,400 military hours
Aircraft flown: T-37, T-38, A-10A, A-10C, B737-300, A319/20/21, PA-24-250
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Meritorious Service Medal with 4 oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with oak leaf cluster
Aerial Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal
Meritorious Unit Award with 2 oak leaf clusters
AF Outstanding Unit Award with 4 oak leaf clusters
AF Organizational Excellence Award
Combat Readiness Medal with 3 oak leaf clusters
National Defense Service Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with oak leaf cluster
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Korean Defense Service Medal
Armed Forces Reserve Medal with ‘M’ Device
NATO Medal with oak leaf cluster
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 27, 1998
First Lieutenant May 27, 2000
Captain May 27, 20002
Major Jan. 1, 2008
Lieutenant Colonel Oct. 1, 2014
Colonel Sep. 18, 2020
(Current as of April 2021)