On the Trail Again – John Noonan ’99 Tapped as Jeb Bush’s National Security Advisor

John Noon, Fishburne Military School (VA) Class of 1999, has been tapped as Governor Jeb Bush's National Security Advisor

John Noon, Fishburne Military School (VA) Class of 1999, has been tapped as Governor Jeb Bush’s National Security Advisor

compiled from reports in National Review, The Weekly Standard, The Washington Post, and Augusta Free Press.

Looks like John Noonan, FMS Class of 1999, is back on the campaign trail. Recently, Florida Governor and Republican Presidential hopeful, Jeb Bush named John Noonan to be his National Security Advisor. Presidential politics are nothing new to John. During the last campaign, he served Mitt Romney as a foreign policy advisor. When Romney detailed many of his ideas in a wide-ranging address on foreign policy at the Virginia Military Institute it was through a speech crafted in part by John Noonan.

Noonan is leaving his role as spokesman for the House Armed Services Committee in order to accept Bush’s invitation to join his campaign.

He’s no upstart; in fact, Noonan has been making himself heard in Washington for over a decade now. National Review notes “Noonan been airing his views on military matters since 2005, first on his own blog and then as a contributor to The Weekly Standard. So his hire is a strong signal of where the candidate himself, who is known to keep his own counsel on policy issues, might stand.”

A Navy brat who grew up in Rota, Spain, Noonan is a graduate of Fishburne Military School and of the Virginia Military Institute. He has called himself a “pro-victory conservative.” As an active-duty Air Force officer, he started a war blog known as OPFOR, a military term for “opposing force.” He wrote his blog from a missile silo in Cheyenne, Wyo., where he was working as a Minuteman III missile-launch officer. Noonan went on to serve as a policy adviser for the Foreign Policy Initiative — a nonprofit organization whose board includes prominent thinkers associated with the neoconservative movement, including Robert Kagan, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and Bill Kristol, the founder and editor of The Weekly Standard — before moving over to Capitol Hill in 2011.

Since then, John’s star has continued to rise. Now, he is back in the forefront of the Republican presidential campaign and loving it. As he noted in a 2012 interview with Augusta Free Press, “It’s fun and the atmosphere is positively electric, but it’s also hard, exacting work,” Noonan said. “You can spend 70 hours a week trying to peg a state poll half a percentage point in your direction. You wrestle over infinitesimal details, and everything can be treated like a crisis.  Military experience, by virtue of Fishburne, VMI, and the Air Force, was a fantastic prep for life on the campaign trail.”

Although we may have to do without his Weekly Standard columns for a time, it seems certain that John Noonan will still be making himself heard over the course of the next few years.






Fishburne Military School is the oldest and smallest of all military schools for boys in Virginia. Its college-prep curriculum is built upon the structure of an Army JROTC program. Boasting a 100% college-acceptance rate for the past 10 consecutive years, FMS has also been designated as a JROTC Honor Unit with Distinction and may nominate qualified candidates to the United States Service Academics. Fishburne hosts one of only four Summer JROTC programs in the nation, accredited by US Army Cadet Command.