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First name: Johnny photo
Last name: Kidwell
E-mail: johnny-kidwell@cherokee.org
Web site:

9115 S. 75th East Avenue
Tulsa, OK 74133-6306
Council Cell 918-931-1466

Johnny Jack Kidwell was born in Claremore, OK, and raised in Spavinaw, OK. He attended Spavinaw Public School and graduated from Ketchum High School. Johnny enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard in 1991 and, after advancing to Petty Officer First Class, he received his commission in 1999. After 20-plus years of honorable service, Johnny retired from active duty at the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

Johnny’s military career encompassed many diverse positions around the world: operations afloat/ashore, personnel training and education, law enforcement duties, and intelligence operations overseas. His first commissioned officer assignment was conducting migrant, fisheries, and anti-narcotics operations in the Pacific area. Afterward, Johnny took command of a new patrol boat and led a wide array of homeland security missions off the West Coast. Most notably, he led the maritime blockade of Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station directly after the 9-11 terror attacks, which enabled U.S. Navy ships to complete critical ammunition operations.

In 2005, Johnny was assigned to the Special Missions Training Center in Camp Lejeune, NC, as the Chief of Training. Here he led a division of 80+ personnel from multiple agencies designing and conducting maritime security operations worldwide. In 2008, Johnny was selected to serve in a classified position within the U.S. intelligence community providing executive-level support to global maritime initiatives throughout the world. Johnny received numerous accolades in this position, including being credited with four successful capture-or-kill operations against high-value terrorist targets in Southeast Asia in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Johnny’s military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary & Service Medals, Advance Boat Forces Operations, Cutterman, Coxswain, Commanding Officer Afloat, and a State of Oklahoma Personal Citation. Johnny is a proud recipient of the Cherokee Warrior Medal of Patriotism and was inducted into the U.S. Coast Guard OCS “Wall of Gallantry” for distinguished and valiant service during high-risk operations overseas.

Currently, Johnny is a Councilmember of the Cherokee Nation representing more than 350,000 Cherokee citizens around the world who reside outside the reservation. Johnny received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma and holds three master’s degrees - San Diego State University, Southern Nazarene University, and the University of Oklahoma College of Law. He lives in Tulsa, OK, with his wife, Charybel, and their two sons; Jonathan and Joseph.