Official biography
COL John Knightstep - image

Colonel John H. Knightstep

Deputy Director of the Seminar on Regional Security Studies
George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies

Currently, serves as a Military Professor, Deputy Course Director for the Seminar on Regional Security Studies at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies. He arrived at the center in July of 2015.

Colonel Knightstep enlisted into the Army in 1985 as an Infantryman serving with the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment and 2nd Battalion, 325th Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne. During his service with 2nd Ranger Battalion and the 82nd Airborne he deployed to El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, and Saudi Arabia. He received his commission as Second Lieutenant in 1994 into the Army Aviation Branch from the Officer Candidate School (OCS) at Fort Benning.

Colonel Knightstep commissioned duty assignments included Fort Bragg and Fort Campbell serving as Flight Platoon Leader and Executive Officer with Alpha Company, 159th Aviation Regiment, Fort Bragg, North Carolina from 1995-1998 thru 1999-2008 with 7th Battalion, 101st  Aviation Regiment, Fort Campbell, Kentucky as Platoon Leader, Air Traffic Control/Pathfinder Company Commander and Flight Company Commander, 101st Airborne Division Assistant Operations Officer, 7th Battalion, 101st Aviation Operations Officer and Battalion Executive Officer. Served as the Army Watch Officer and Executive Officer to the Deputy G-3/5/7 of the U.S. Army Pentagon from 2008-2010. Selected for battalion command in Alaska for the 1-52nd Aviation Regiment "Flying Dragons" from 2010-2012. Most recently served as the senior aviation trainer (Falcon 07) at the Joint Multinational Training Center (JMRC), Germany from 2012-2014.

Deployments include Kosovo in 1999, Afghanistan 2000-2001, Iraq 2003-2004, and in 2005-2006, Pakistan in 2010, Afghanistan 2010-2011.

Colonel Knightstep’s commands included; Company C, 1-58th Aviation Regiment (Pathfinders), 101st Airborne, deploying to Kosovo (KFOR3B) and Afghanistan (Task Force Rakkasan, Operation Anaconda). Company A, 7th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment deploying to Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF I). Battalion Commander of 1-52nd Aviation Regiment in Alaska deploying to Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Colonel Knightstep’s highest military and civilian education is from the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in 2015 and Master of Arts in International Relations from Norwich University, Vermont.

His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star (4 Oak Leaf Clusters), Air Medal (8 Numeral, with V for valor), Meritorious Service Medal (5 Oak Leaf Clusters), Combat Infantryman Badge, Combat Medical Badge, Master Army Aviator Badge, Ranger Tab, Air Assault Badge, Parachutist Badge with star, Army Staff Identification Badge and the Honorable Order of Saint Michael (Bronze award).