Jerome Johnson was born on 5 March 1951. He received his commission in July 1973 through the ROTC program at Fort Valley State University. In the first 20 years of his career, he had a wide range of duty assignments. He served as a company and battalion commander for maintenance units, an action officer at the Total Army Personnel Center, a financial management officer at the 21st Support Command, and a program analyst for the US Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics. Following a Senior Service College Fellowship in 1993 at the US Army Command and General Staff College and an assignment at the School of Advance Military Studies as Director of Campaign Planning in 1994, he began to work on operational and strategic issues as the Chief of Staff and Support Operations Officer, 3rd Corps Support Command, and as commander of the 29th Support Group which included a deployment to Bosnia.
After a one-year assignment as Executive Officer to the Deputy Commanding General of US Army Materiel Command, Johnson became Commanding General of the US Army War Reserve Support Command (AWRSPTCMD) in August 1999. In this assignment he oversaw the transition of AWRSPTCMD into the Field Support Command (FSC). In this transition, the FSC became the 'single point of contact' for Army Materiel Command's customers in the field and commenced the centralization of Army Material Command field missions. Between August 2001 and June 2004, Johnson served at the Pentagon as the Director of Plans, Readiness, and Operations for the US Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics. In this role, he managed the logistics aspect of the response to September 11, 2001 and early phases of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
In June 2004, Johnson assumed command of the U.S. Army Field Support Command and led its transformation into the U.S. Army Sustainment Command signaling a transformation of its logistics organizational structure to enhance its mission and capability. He quickly transformed the AMC Forward units into Army Field Support Brigades to provide better coordinated support to field units. His recognition of property accountability difficulties led to the creation of the Theater Provided Equipment (TPE) pool and the assumption of property books from CONUS commanders as they deployed. In CONUS, Johnson implemented the Left Behind Equipment (LBE) program to assume unit property control while the unit was deployed. The LBE program allowed units to leave major items of equipment at their home station that would later be issued by the TPE teams in theater. This relieved the unit of maintenance and property accountability concerns and allowed for smaller rear detachments and more troops deployed into combat. The Pre-Deployment Training Equipment (PDTE) pool served as a CONUS-based loan asset of critical TPE that allowed units to train in CONUS on equipment they would receive in theater. He also implemented was the creation of the Retrograde Property Accountability Teams (RPAT).
In August 2007, Johnson assumed the duties of Deputy Chief of staff, U.S. Army Forces Command. In this position he continued to work to connect the new logistics structures and missions of Army Sustainment Command and Army Materiel Command with the needs of the recovering, training, and deploying Army in CONUS.
Jerome Johnson retired from the U.S. Army on 1 November 2009 after 36 years of service.