Program Manager

John is a US Army retired veteran who currently resides in San Luis Obispo, CA with his wife and two children. John grew up in San Diego California and started surfing at the age of 15, quickly falling in love with it. After 9/11, while in college in San Luis Obispo, he felt inspired to join the Army, and dropped everything serve his country. Over the following 14 years of service he rose to the rank of Sergeant before completing a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from San Diego State University and earning his commission as an Armor Officer. After three combat deployments, as well as serving in a multitude of positions culminating with Company Command, he was medically retired in 2016 for PTSD and other combat-related injuries.

While John was going through the process of getting medically retired he saw a friend he served with post about Operation Surf on social media. This would relight his interest in surfing and eventually led to him to moving to the Central Coast and joining the Operation Surf Ohana. He as been a participant of the Operation Surf 6 (OS6) six-month local program in 2016, then again as a participant of the week-long program in Huntington Beach in 2019. His transition to civilian life was anything but graceful, but throughout it all, Operation Surf has been there for him the entire time.

John is passionate about giving back to the organization that has given him so much. He served in a volunteer role from 2019-2021 on the Operation Surf leadership team as the Veteran manager. He now serves as the Program Manager, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience in management and leadership. John’s ability to connect with the veteran population and understand the struggles that veterans may face with combat, military service, and transition allows him to better serve Operation Surfs participants.