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Major General John Howard

Deputy Director for Commonwealth Integration


Major General John Howard, MNZM, New Zealand Army, became the Defense Intelligence Agency’s second Deputy Director for Commonwealth Integration January 20, 2018.

MG Howard enlisted into the Territorial Force of the New Zealand Army while studying accountancy and law at the Nelson Polytechnic in 1984. In 1986, he enlisted into the Regular Army as an Officer Cadet. After completing the 12-month commissioning course at the Officer Cadet School of New Zealand, he was commissioned into the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment as a Second Lieutenant.

During his career, MG Howard has held several appointments within the 1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment: Rifle Platoon Commander, Reconnaissance Platoon Commander, Rifle Company Executive Officer (Point of Entry Company/Forced Entry), Adjutant, Rifle Company Commander, Battalion Command.

MG Howard has completed three tours as an instructor at the New Zealand School of Infantry: Senior Instructor of Small Arms Wing, Senior Instructor of Tactics Wing, and Chief Instructor. He has commanded the deployment of military training teams to a number of Pacific island and South East Asian nations. Throughout his career, he has deployed on a number of multinational training exercises and exchanges in a wide range of tactical environments with most allied nations. He was attached to the British Parachute Regiment and employed as a Pathfinder for early entry forces.

MG Howard has held staff appointments in both Army HQ and HQ New Zealand Defence Forces and is a graduate of the Australian Joint Command and Staff College (2011) where he earned a Master’s Degree in Management and International Defence studies through a residential program at the University of Canberra. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Army War College (2011) in Carlisle, Pennsylvania where he earned a Master’s of Strategic Studies.

Following his time at the War College, MG Howard served 18 months as the Senior National Officer to U.S. Central Command Headquarters in Tampa where he worked in the CC J5 Branch. From December 2012-January 2015, MG Howard commanded the HQ Deployable Joint Interagency Task Force as a deployable combatant commander. From February 2015-January 2018, he served as the New Zealand Chief of Defence Intelligence.

His operational tours include Bosnia (1995/1996 IFOR), Bougainville (1997/1998), East Timor (1999/2000 INTERFET and UNTAET) and Afghanistan (2008/2009 OEF).

In the 2000 Queen’s Birthday Honours list, MG Howard was made an additional member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his role as a Company Commander for operations during his deployment to East Timor. In 2009, he was awarded the U.S. Meritorious Service Medal for his work as the Chief of Staff of the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction team in Afghanistan, and also received the U.S. Meritorious Service Medal in 2017 for his previous service at U.S. CENTCOM. He was promoted to Major General in November 2017.

MG Howard is married to Amanda and is step-father to Luke. When not working, his interests include hunting, shooting, fishing and enjoying the great outdoors.