Colonel “J.P.” McDonough graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in May 1994. Upon completion of The Basic School and the Field Artillery Officer Basic Course, he reported to 1st Battalion, 11th Marines, Camp Pendleton, CA where he served as a Forward Observer and Guns Platoon Commander with Battery C and the Fire Direction Officer and Executive Officer with Battery B as well as the Battalion Legal Officer.
In December of 1997, First Lieutenant McDonough was ordered to The Basic School, Quantico VA. There he served as a Staff Platoon Commander for three lieutenant companies and also served as the Supporting Arms Instructor. While at The Basic School he was promoted to Captain in June of 1998.
After graduating from the Field Artillery Captain’s Career Course, Captain McDonough reported to 3d Battalion, 10th Marines, Camp LeJeune, NC in March of 2001, where he served as the Commanding Officer of Battery K, and as the Battalion Logistics Officer. While serving as the Kilo Battery Commander he deployed with Battalion Landing Team 3/6, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Task Force 58 in support of OPERATIONS SWIFT and ENDURING FREEDOM to Afghanistan.
His next assignment was as a student at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA where he graduated with a Masters Degree in Modeling, Virtual Environments, and Simulation. While in Monterey, he was promoted to Major in June 2004.
Upon graduation in September, 2005, he reported to Training and Education Command, Quantico, VA where he served as a Modeling and Simulation Analyst for training systems and project officer for multiple simulation programs.
In June, 2008, Major McDonough was transferred to 3d Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, in Okinawa, Japan. There he served as the Battalion Operations Officer until deploying as the Officer in Charge of Embedded Training Team 6-5, Afghan National Army in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM. Upon returning from deployment in April of 2010, he was assigned to 12th Marine Regiment, where he served as the Regimental Executive Officer. During this time, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in July 2010.
In June 2011, Lieutenant Colonel McDonough was reassigned to the 11th Marine Regiment, for duty as the Executive Officer until he took command of 1st Battalion, 11th Marines in October of 2011. He commanded the battalion until July of 2013, when he reported for duty as a student at the Eisenhower School, National Defense University. Upon graduation from school in June of 2014, he reported to the Joint Staff where he served as an Action Officer and Division Chief in the J39, Deputy Directorate for Global Operations. He was promoted to his present rank of Colonel in January of 2017.