34th Annual NDIA SO/LIC Symposium
John Taft is a retired Special Forces Colonel, and recipient of 4 Bronze Star Medals for combat deployments in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Currently, John is a Specialist Leader for Deloitte Consulting, LLP.
Prior to his retirement, John was the senior military assistant for the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict. John provided policy advice and military expertise to the Assistant Secretary regarding all aspects of special operations, military operations, counterterrorism and information operations policy issues.
As a Colonel, John was the Special Operations Command-Forward Lebanon Commander. In this capacity, John advised and assisted the US Embassy Beirut Ambassador and the Lebanese Special Operations Forces in operations against ISIS to drive ISIS out of Northeastern Lebanon. Additionally, John collaborated with the Middle East Broadcasting Center, the largest Arab satellite TV provider, to produce an original 30-episode TV series that exposed violent extremist exploitation of religion. This series was a success across the Middle East and North Africa and was picked up by NETFLIX for worldwide airing.
Additionally, John served as the military assistant to the Honorable Michael G. Vickers, the former Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. His duties supported the Under Secretary in his role as the principal staff assistant and advisor to the Secretary of Defense, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, and the Director of National Intelligence regarding intelligence, counterintelligence, security and sensitive activities.
As a student at the U.S. Army War College, John conducted a year-long research project on U.S. military intervention in international crises – Strike, Enable, Leverage – A Strategic Triad for U.S. Military Intervention. Notably, John is a United States Army War College Distinguished Graduate: Top 20%.
In collaboration with Deloitte Government Insights, John has published two articles. The first article titled, Special Operations Forces and Great Power Competition – Talent, Technology and Organizational Change was published in June 2019. The second article SOF Culture is the Mission, was published July 2020. John is a graduate of the NYU Stern Executive MBA program Class of 2022 and earned specializations in business analytics and corporate finance.