Colonel John P. “J.P.” O’Dell III

Col. John P. O’Dell III is the Vice Commander, 37th Training Wing, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, the largest, most diverse training wing in the U.S. Air Force known as the “Gateway to the Air Force.” 

As vice commander, he assists the wing commander in leading the wing comprised of more than 24,000 students and permanent party Airmen. The Gateway Wing, provides foundational training and education to develop multi-capable Airmen, Guardians and sister service members; strengthens and sustains U.S. and international partnerships through English language and special skills training for allied forces; and is the Department of Defense executive agent for the Military Working Dog program. 

Colonel O’Dell received his commission in 1999, through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the Virginia Military Institute. His assignments have included squadron command in Air Education and Training Command and joint staff duties at Headquarters U.S. Southern Command. Prior to his current position, Colonel O’Dell served as Military Deputy Director, Aircrew Task Force, Headquarters U.S Air Force, Pentagon, Washington D.C.  


1999 Bachelor of Science, Computer Science, Virginal Military Institute, Lexington, Va. 

2004 Air Force Weapons School, Hurlburt Field, Fla. 

2005 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. 

2009 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence 

2011 Master of Science, Aviation Management, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Enid, Okla. 

2013 U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth Kan. 

2015 Air War College Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence 

2020 Joint and Combined Warfighting School, Joint Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va. 


1. October 1999 – January 2000, Assistant Sortie Generation Officer, 69th Fighter Squadron, Moody Air Force Base, Ga. 

2. February 2000 – November 2000, Navigator Student, Undergraduate Navigator Training, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas 

3. December 2000 – April 2001, C-130E Navigator Training, Little Rock AFB, Ark. 

4. May 2001 – October 2001, MC-130P Navigator Training, Kirtland AFB, N.M. 

5. November 2001 – October 2005, MC-130P Instructor Navigator, Plans and Training Officer, Tactics Flight Commander, Weapons Instructor, 9th Special Operations Squadron, Eglin AFB, Fla. 

6. November 2005 – October 2008, MC-130P Weapons Instructor, Evaluator Navigator, 67 SOS Chief of Tactics, 352 SOG Deputy Chief of Tactics, Deputy Chief of Stan/Eval, Royal Air Force Mildenhall, United Kingdom 

7. November 2008 – September 2010, MC-130P Branch Chief, Command Evaluator Navigator, Hurlburt Field, Fla. 

8. October 2010 – June 2012, MC-130J Initial Cadre Branch Chief, Command Evaluator Combat Systems Officers, Hurlburt Field Fla. 

9. June 2012 – June 2013, Student, Army Command and Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas 

10. June 2013 – June 2015, Wing Inspector General, Instructor Combat Systems Officer, Kirtland AFB, N.M. 

11. June 2015 – June 2016, Squadron Operations Officer, Instructor Combat Systems Officer, Kirtland AFB, N.M. 

12. June 2016 – January 2018, Squadron Commander, Instructor Combat Systems Officer, Kirtland AFB, N.M. 

13. January 2018 – July 2020, Air Planner, Future Operation Division, United States Southern Command, Miami, Fla. 

14. July 2020 – June 2022, Military Deputy Director, Training and Readiness, Aircrew Task Force, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Pentagon, Washington D.C. 

15. June 2022 – present, Vice Wing Commander, 37th Training Wing, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas 


1. January 2018 – July 2020, U.S. Southern Command, Miami, Fla., as a Lieutenant Colonel 


Rating: Master Navigator 

Flight Hours: More than 3,300 

Aircraft Flown: C-130E, MC-130P, HC-130P, EC-130J, HC-130J, MC-130J 


Legion of Merit 

Defense Meritorious Service Medal 

Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters 

Air Medal with nine oak leaf clusters 

Aerial Achievement Medal  


Second Lieutenant September 3, 1999 

First Lieutenant September 3, 2001 

Captain September 3, 2003 

Major July 1, 2009 

Lieutenant Colonel December 1, 2014 

Colonel November 1, 2020