John “Glad” Castellaw is co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Farmspace Systems LLC., a provider of aerial (drone) services and equipment.
Following graduation from the University of Tennessee, Martin (UTM), he led Marines around the world while flying more than two dozen different aircraft. During his 36-year career, he served with the UN during the Siege of Sarajevo, commanded the American force in the multi-national security and stability operation in East Timor, and was the chief of staff for the U.S. Central Command at the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also commanded Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 264 (REINFORCED), Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1, and the 2d Marine Aircraft Wing. His last tours were in the Pentagon as head of Marine Aviation and then overseeing the Marine Corps budget.
Following his return to his Tennessee family farm, Castellaw co-founded the non-profit Crockett Policy Institute. As the former president, he created the “SOLDIER 2 CIVILIAN” program to help veterans find jobs in precision agriculture. Active in the local community, he is a director for the Bank of Crockett and serves with regional economic organizations.
Castellaw, a recognized national security expert, is a member of the USGLC National Security Advisory Council, lectures on National Security at UTM, serves on several Washington, DC based groups including the Nuclear Security Working Group (NSWG), the American Security Project Consensus, and the Climate Security Working Group (CSWG). He also consults with major defense firms and a Hollywood film company.
His honors, in addition to several military decorations, include membership in the UTM Army Reserve Officer Training Corps Hall of Fame, selection as the 1990 Marine Aviator of the Year, and as a recipient of the 2016 R. Clayton McWhorter Innovation Award given by the Ned Ray McWherter Institute. He was awarded the Order of Timor Leste (East Timor) by Prime Minister de Araujo for his service in restoring peace and security to that country.
Castellaw has provided commentary for various media outlets including the BBC, El Arabia, The Tennessean, The Commercial Appeal, The Knoxville News Sentinel, The Jackson Sun, and The Washington Times. He recently appeared in a National Geographic Network series on climate security.