John Bennett Herrington, PhD
Commander, USN (Ret)
PERSONAL DATA: Born September 14, 1958 in Wetumka, Oklahoma. He grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado; Riverton, Wyoming; Plano, Texas, and currently resides in Idaho. Commander Herrington is married and has two children. He enjoys flying, rock climbing, snow skiing, running, and cycling.
EDUCATION: Graduated from Plano Senior High School, Plano, Texas, in 1976; received a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, in 1983, and a Master of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in 1995. He received a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Idaho in 2014.
ORGANIZATIONS: Life member of the Association of Naval Aviation, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Association of Space Explorers, Sequoyah Fellow for the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES).
SPECIAL HONORS: Distinguished Naval Graduate from Aviation Officer Candidate School. Awarded Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, NASA Spaceflight Medal, Navy Commendation Medal and various other service awards. He is the recipient of two honorary Doctorates of Science. One from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and the other from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.
EXPERIENCE: Herrington received his commission from Aviation Officer Candidate School in March 1984 and was designated a Naval Aviator in March 1985. He reported to Patrol Squadron Thirty-One (VP-31) at the Moffett Field Naval Air Station, Mountain View, California for initial training in the P-3C Orion. His first operational assignment was with Patrol Squadron Forty-Eight (VP-48) where he made three operational deployments, two to the Northern Pacific based from Naval Air Station Adak, Alaska and one to the Western Pacific based from the Naval Air Station Cubi Point, Republic of the Philippines. While assigned to VP-48, Herrington was designated a Patrol Plane Commander, Mission Commander, and Patrol Plane Instructor Pilot. Following completion of his first operational tour, Herrington then returned to VP-31 as a Fleet Replacement Squadron Instructor Pilot. While assigned to VP-31 he was selected to attend the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, Maryland in January 1990. After graduation in December 1990, he reported to the Force Warfare Aircraft Test Directorate as a project test pilot for the Joint Primary Aircraft Training System. Herrington conducted additional flight test assignments flying numerous variants of the P-3 Orion as well as the T-34C and the DeHavilland Dash 7. Following his selection as an Aeronautical Engineering Duty Officer, Herrington reported to the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School where he completed a Master of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering in June 1995. Herrington was assigned as a special projects officer to the Bureau of Naval Personnel Sea Duty Component when selected for the astronaut program. He has logged over 4,600 flight hours in over 30 different types of aircraft.
NASA EXPERIENCE: Selected by NASA in April 1996, Herrington reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996. He completed two years of training and evaluation, and was qualified for flight assignment as a mission specialist. Initially, Herrington was assigned to both the Shuttle and International Space Station Branches in support of Guidance Navigation and Control systems. Herrington was also assigned to the Flight Support Branch of the Astronaut Office where he served as a member of the Astronaut Support Personnel team responsible for Shuttle launch preparations and post-landing operations. In November 2002, he flew on STS-113 logging over 330 hours in space, including 3 EVAs totaling 19 hours and 55 minutes. Post-flight, Herrington was assigned as a Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) supporting Shuttle and Space Station training and operations. In the summer of 2003, Herrington was detailed to support International Space Station training efforts in both the United States and Russia. Following this assignment, he became a member of the Extravehicular Activities (EVA) Branch supporting Russian/US EVA hardware and operations. For his last assignment, he was chosen to become the Chief Engineer for Safety and Mission Assurance (S&MA) at the Johnson Space Center. He was responsible for leading the S&MA engineering efforts in support of Space Shuttle and Space Station hardware and software integration and mission operations.
SPACE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE: STS-113 Endeavour (November 23-Dec 7, 2002) was the sixteenth assembly mission to the International Space Station. Mission accomplishments included the delivery of the Expedition-Six crew, the delivery, installation and activation of the P1 Truss, and the transfer of cargo from Shuttle to the Station. During the mission Herrington performed three EVAs totaling 19 hours and 55 minutes. STS-113 brought home the Expedition-Five crew from their 6-month stay aboard the Station. Mission duration: 13 days, 18 hours and 47 minutes.
NEEMO 6: NASA Extreme Environment Operations
POST NASA EXPERIENCE: On October 1, 2005, he retired from the US Navy and left NASA to pursue a career in the commercial space industry. Currently, Herrington serves as an ambassador for the Chickasaw Nation. CDR Herrington recently completed a PhD in Education at the University of Idaho. His research investigated the factors that motivate and engage Native American youth in STEM education. For the past 8 years, CDR Herrington has served as a judge and judge advisor for the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Oklahoma Regional.
2013 – Host/Narrator/Producer, “Unconquerable,” History of the Chickasaw Nation
2012 – Host/Narrator, “The Grand Energy Transition”
2009 – Writer/ Host, Narrator, “Inside Hubble’s Final Mission,” National Geographic Channel
2012 – Lifetime Achievement Award, Dreamcatcher Charitable Foundation
2011 – South Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce Native Son Award
2011 – The TWANAT (to carry on traditions) Award (Museum at Warm Springs)
2011 – Red Dirt to Rockets, Oklahomans in Space Award
2010 – Inaugural Drum award for Health and Science
2009 – Wiley Post Spirit award
2007 – Oklahoma Aviation and Space Hall of Fame Inductee
2003 – Red Earth Ambassador of the Year
2002 – Chickasaw Hall of Fame Inductee
and many other civic and community awards.