Colonel John D. Ellis enlisted in the US Army in 1982 and was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) as a Voice Intercept Operator. In 1985, he attended Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, GA where he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. Upon commissioning, he was sent back to the 101st Airborne Division and served as an Assistant Brigade S2 (Tactical Intelligence Officer) for 3rd Brigade Headquarters, and then served three years as a Battalion S2 for the 1-187th Infantry (Air Assault).
In 1989, he was selected for and attended the Post Graduate Intelligence Program at the National Defense Intelligence College in Washington, DC, where he focused on Strategic Intelligence Studies, with concentrations in Middle Eastern Studies and Low Intensity Conflict. During his course of study, he was attached to the 513th Military Intelligence Brigade and deployed to DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM as the Chief of the Joint Document Exploitation Center, with duty in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia and then Kuwait City, Kuwait.
After the war, he was sent to US Pacific Command to serve as the North Korean Political and Economic Analyst and followed that serving as the Southwest Asia Regional Analyst at the Joint Intelligence Center Pacific. He left active duty in 1992, joined the 1085th Training Exercise Maneuver Group as an Intelligence Operations Officer until 1995, when he assumed command of the 368th Military Intelligence Company.
He then joined the US Forces Korea Support Unit for a short time before being named the G2 for the 322nd Civil Affairs Brigade, where he served for three and one half years. He then rejoined the Joint Intelligence Center Pacific as the Director of the US Army Element of the JICPAC Joint Reserve Unit until his selection to Colonel, whereupon he rejoined the USFK Support Unit, serving in his battle-roster position as the Deputy J2 for USFK. With the completion of his tour as commander of the US Army Japan Support Unit, he was assigned as the 9th Mission Support Command Chief of Staff.
His awards and decorations include the Army Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal (with four Oak Leaf Clusters), the Joint Services Achievement Medal, the Army Achievement Medal (with two Oak Leaf Clusters), the Good Conduct Medal, the Military Outstanding Volunteer Medal and the Air Assault badge.
Colonel Ellis works with Camber Corp. as a contractor in the J723 (JTF Training and Certification Branch) at US Pacific Command, Camp H.M. Smith, HI. He is married to Jessica Wong and has three children: Luke, Kate and John.