Maj. John Waters is the United States Air Force F-16 Viper Demonstration Team commander and pilot based at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina. As the F-16 Viper Demonstration Team commander, he is responsible for representing Air Combat Command, the United States Air Force, the Defense Department, and the United States of America at more than 20 air shows annually. He leads the 15-member F-16 Viper Demonstration Team, oversees maintenance actions performed on the Lockheed Martin $43 million demonstration aircraft, and showcases the Viper’s exceptional maneuverability for more than 10 million spectators around the world each year. He is an operational F-16 pilot assigned to the 20th Operations Group, Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina.
Maj. Waters is from Peachtree City, Georgia. He attended Starr’s Mill High School in Fayetteville, Georgia, graduating in 2003. Following high school, he attended Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia, graduating in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in International Affairs and earning his commission through the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Reserve Officer Training Program.
Maj. Waters attended pilot training at Columbus AFB, Mississippi where he earned his wings flying the T-6 Texan II and the T-38C Talon. Maj. Waters then attended Pilot Instructor Training at Randolph AFB, Texas, graduating as a Distinguished Graduate prior to returning to Columbus AFB as First Assignment Instructor Pilot in the T-6 Texan II. While serving as a T-6 Instructor Pilot, Maj. Waters deployed as a Mission Commander in the MC-12W Liberty, flying 128 combat missions in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.
Following his assignment at Columbus AFB, Maj. Waters then completed Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals graduating as a Distinguished Graduate prior to attending F-16 Basic Course at Luke AFB, Arizona. Upon graduation, Maj. Waters was assigned to the 77th Fighter Squadron at Shaw AFB, South Carolina as an operational F-16 pilot and flew 53 combat missions in support of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE. Maj. Waters later served as the Chief of Flight Safety for the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw AFB.
While assigned to the 20th FW, he was selected to be the Air Combat Command F-16 Viper Demonstration pilot. Maj. Waters is a combat seasoned fighter pilot with over 960 combat hours in the MC-12W and F-16.
2003 Starr’s Mill High School, Fayetteville, Georgia
2007 Bachelor of Science International Affairs, Georgia Institute of Technology
2007 Air and Space Basic Course, Maxwell AFB, Alabama
2011 Masters of Science Emergency Management, Jacksonville State University
2014 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Alabama
1. May 2007 – July 2008, Squadron Duty Officer, 41st Rescue Squadron, Moody AFB, GA
2. July 2008 – September 2009, Student, Joint Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training, Columbus AFB, MS.
3. September 2009 – February 2010, Student, Pilot Instructor Training, 559 FTS Randolph AFB, TX.
4. February 2010- December 2012, T-6 Instructor Pilot, Check Pilot, Executive Officer 41 FTS, Columbus AFB, MS.
5. December 2011- August 2012, MC-12W Mission Commander, Flight Commander, 361 Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron, Kandahar AB, Afghanistan.
6. December 2012-May 2013, Student, Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals, 49 FTS Columbus AFB, MS.
7. May 2013 – February 2014, Student, F-16 Basic Course, 308 FS Luke AFB, AZ.
8. March 2014 – January 2016, F-16 Pilot, 77 FS Shaw AFB, SC.
9. January 2016 - December 2016, F-16 Pilot, Chief of Flight Safety, 20 FW, Shaw AFB, SC.
10. February 2017 – Present, F-16 Demo Team Commander/Pilot, Shaw AFB, SC.
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Air Medal with 7 OLC
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal 1 OLC
National Defense Service Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon
AF Longevity Service
Rating: Senior Pilot
Flight Hours: 2,200
Aircraft Flown: F-16, MC-12W, T-6, T-38
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
2ND LT - May 30, 2007
1ST LT - May 30, 2009
CAPT - May 30, 2011
MAJ - April 1, 2017