20th CBRNE Command - Chief of Staff

Colonel John Kunstbeck

Col. John Kunstbeck is currently the Chief of Staff of the 20th CBRNE Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.

He is a native of Altoona, Pennsylvania, and first enlisted in the Army in 1993. He attended basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and served in the Army Reserves in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, for four years while attending college. In May 1997, he was a Distinguished Military Graduate from Penn State University’s ROTC Program, earning a commission as a Military Intelligence officer.

His initial troop leading assignment was with the 513th Military Intelligence Brigade at Fort Gordon, Georgia, where he served 48 months in the 202nd Military Intelligence Battalion as an Interrogation Platoon Leader, Counterintelligence Company Executive Officer, and Battalion Logistics Officer.

As a captain, he served as the Special Security Officer and Headquarters and Headquarters Company Commander at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. In 2005, Col. Kunstbeck transitioned to an active National Guard unit where, as a major, he served as the Deputy Commander, 3rd WMD-Civil Support Team, at Fort Indiantown Gap, and as the Deputy of Military Intelligence, 28th Infantry Division.

In 2012, Col. Kunstbeck transitioned back to active duty as a Functional Area 52 (Nuclear and Counter Weapons of Mass Destruction) officer with consecutive assignments at the Defense Intelligence Agency in Charlottesville, Virginia, serving as a Branch Chief and Division Operations Officer with the Defense Counterproliferation Office, and then as a Deputy Division Chief with the Office of Advanced Technologies Intelligence.

His deployment experience includes combat service with the 101st Airborne and 1st Cavalry Divisions in Afghanistan where he served as an advisor to the Afghan National Army. Other deployments include serving as the Deputy, Military Intelligence, Joint Task Force-Bravo, Honduras, and with the 28th Infantry Division in Egypt.

Col. Kunstbeck earned an undergraduate degree from Penn State University in 1997, a Master of Science degree in Business Leadership from Duquesne University in 2009, and is a 2019 graduate from the U.S. Army War College with a Master of Science in Strategic Studies.

His awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Bronze Star, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (2 OLC), and the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge.

In 2003, Col. Kunstbeck married the former Brooke Newton of Augusta, Georgia. They have three sons: Ben (14), Grant (10), and Hunter (4).


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