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Oral History interview of John C. Burns. Interview conducted by James Solomons at University of Central Florida Library in Orlando, FL.


1:15 Family background; 2:23 Influences to join military; 3:38 First days in military; 4:35 Commission; 5:01 Training to be an officer; 6:21 Specialized training; 7:15 "Where were you stationed"; 9:30 Germany; 16:17 Language barriers and communication; 19:37 Panama and Operation Just Cause; 25:12 POW recovery in Vietnam and Grenada; 30:00 Kosovo 1999; 33:15 Operation Iraqi Freedom: Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq; 35:30 Duties in Iraq; 39:10 Communication home; 41:42 Unusual events while serving; 45:32 IED explosion; 49:48 Naval war College (Military faculty); 51:16 Post-service adjustments; 52:18 Simulation software; 53:27 Retirement; 53:50 Post-service occupation and daily life; 55:15 Correspondence with old military friends; 56:14 Reflection on service.

Date of Birth


Place of Birth

Waynesburg (Pa.)




White - Non Hispanic

Home State


War or Conflict

Operation Iraqi Freedom



Begin/End date of Service - 1st



Entrance into Service


Branch of Service

U.S. Army

Unit of Service

1. Military Faculty, Naval War College (2001-2003, 2004-2007); 2. C3 Chief of Operations, 3rd Army and the Coalition Forces Land: Component Command (Jan 2003-Jul 2004 in Kuwait and Iraq; 3. Aviation Brigade Task Force Commander. Multi¬ National Bde East, Kosovo (Jun-Dec 1999; 4. Commander, 2-1st Aviation Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, Katterbach Airfield, Germany (1980-2000); 5. Readiness Planner, Joint Staff J-7, Pentagon; 6. Staff Officer, DCSOPS Force Development directorate, Army Staff Pentagon (1994-1996)…

Location of Service

Kuwait; Iraq; Afghanistan; Korea; Panama; Germany; Persian Gulf; Cambodia; Vietnam

Highest Rank

Colonel; COL

Prisoner of War


Service Related Injury



Persian Gulf Operation; Just Cause Operation; Joint Guardian Operation


Defense Superior Service Medal; Legion of Merit; Bronze Star; Purple Heart; Defense Meritorious Service Medal; Meritorious Service Medal; Combat Action Badge; Master Aviator Badge; Senior Parachutist Badge


Military Faculty, Naval War College, 2 Tours - Naval War College Course Director for Joint Land Air Sea Simulation (JLASS) Senior Service College Strategic Planning Program, AY 2005-2007. - IED Survivor - Baghdad 2004 - Chief of Operations for Coalition. Theater Land Command Headquarters (CFLCC)/3rd Anny at the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom Jan 2003-July 2004 - initial Avn Bde Task Force Commander for Operation Joint Guardian NATO Peace Enforcement mission in Kosovo in 1999 - Det Commander - POW/M IA Recovery mission in Cambodia and Vietnam - 1992. First use of US military helicopters in Southeast Asia since end of Vietnam War. - JTF Planner for Operation Just Cause responsible for PC targets, 1989-1990.


Not applicable

City of Birth


Country of Birth

United States


Solomons, James

Interview Date


Location of Interview

University of Central Florida Library in Orlando, FL.


Burns, John C.; Iraq War, 2003-2011 -- Personal Narratives; Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, 2001-present -- Personal narratives; United States. Army

Collection Description

Contains logs, audio and video recordings of interviews with Central Florida's veterans as part of a history class project for the students at the University of Central Florida (UCF). The UCF Community Veterans History Project(CVHP) started in fall 2010. It collects, preserves, and makes accessible to the public the experiences of Central Florida's veterans so that future generations will better understand the realities of conflict. It is a collaborative endeavor supported by multiple departments and offices at UCF. The veterans' histories are archived and made digitally available through the UCF library and selected materials are contributed to the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress.

Contributor Affiliation / Organization

RICHES; University of Central Florida


Solomons, James

Length of Interview

58 Minutes


Department of History, University of Central Florida


Video; MovingImage


All rights are held by the respective holding institution. This material is posted publicly for non-profit educational uses, excluding printed publication. For permission to reproduce and/or for copyright information contact Special Collections and University Archives, University of Central Florida Libraries, (407) 823-2576. http://library.ucf.edu/about/departments/special-collections-university-archives/


University of Central Florida Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives

Contributing Project

UCF Community Veterans History Project

Document Type