Cadet Company: D4
Date of Birth: December 3, 1963
Date of Death: May 18, 2010 - View or Post a Eulogy
Col. John M. McHugh, 46, of New Jersey, was assigned to the U.S. Army Battle Command Training Program, Fort Leavenworth. He died May 18 in Kabul, Afghanistan, when a suicide bomber steered his explosives-laden Toyota minibus into an American convoy as it moved through the thick of rush-hour traffic. Along with COL McHugh attack killed 17 other people, including 4 other American soldiers (Lt. Col. Paul R. Bartz, 43, of Waterloo, Wis., Lt. Col. Thomas P. Belkofer, 44, of Perrysburg, Ohio, Staff Sgt. Richard J. Tieman, 28, of Waynesboro, Pa., Spc. Joshua A. Tomlinson, 24, of Dubberly, La.) Col. Geoff Parker, RCR, and wounded at approximately 47 civilians. He had arrived in Afghanistan from Fort Leavenworth, Kan., just days before he was killed.
Col McHugh was one of the highest-ranking officers to die in Afghanistan since the war began.
Following his graduation in 1986 he went on to Rotary Wing (Flight School) and UH -60 Aviator courses, McHugh was stationed in Nurnberg, Germany, with the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment (ACR). He served as a platoon leader with S Troop, 4th Squadron, 2nd ACR and deployed to Operation Desert Storm as the regimental aviation officer. Upon graduating from the Aviation Advanced Course, McHugh was assigned to the 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo., as a flight operations officer for 4-4 General Support Aviation Battalion (GSAB) and commander, A Company, 4-4 GSAB. From 1998 until 1999, he was the executive officer for 1-13th Aviation Regiment, Fort Rucker, Ala. From 2001 until 2002, he was the executive officer for 3-58th Aviation Regiment, Giebelstadt, Germany. He served in multiple training assignments. From 1994 1996, he was assigned as a UH-60 assault company trainer at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif. From 1999-2001, he was a maneuver observer trainer with Operations Group C, Battle Command Training Program, Fort Leavenworth, and from 2002-2004 he served as the operations officer/aviation operations trainer for the Falcon Observer/Controller Team, Hohenfels, Germany. From 2004-2006, McHugh commanded 1st Battalion, 11th Aviation Regiment at Fort Rucker, Ala., and was responsible for providing air traffic control for the U.S. Army Flight School. McHugh has a masters degree in administration from West Virginia Public University. Following command, McHugh served as executive officer for the Army Air Traffic Services Command and deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as the deputy commander of the 164th Theater Airfield Operations Group. McHugh assumed duties as the chief, Operations Group Alpha, in June 2009 upon graduation from the U.S. Army War College where he received a masters in strategic studies.
He is survived by his widow, Mrs. Connie McHugh, his five children (two sons - the youngest just
5 years old - and three daughters) and a granddaughter. His oldest child, Michael, was serving in Iraq when his father was killed. He met his father's body in Kuwait and escorted his body home.
For more information on COL McHugh, media may contact U.S. Army Battle Command Training Program PAO at 913-683-4118