November - 100 Years Later

Major General JOHN Borling (USAF, Ret)


John Borling chairs the Business Board and is a Director/Investor in Synthonics (, a specialty pharmaceutical company exploiting a patented, platform chemistry that markedly improves performance of existing and pipeline drugs. He is a poet/author whose book ‘Taps on the Walls’ received national attention (  


General Borling founded and chairs SOS America (Service Over Self), a patriotic organization advocating one year of military service for America’s young adults age 18-26.


He continues important association with the Pritzker Military Museum and Library. His contribution to the acclaimed anthology, ‘Gettysburg Replies’ stirs imagination.  He was narrator and executive producer for a newly released CD ‘Old War Poems’ featuring original music and selected Walt Whitman verse.  It will have a full orchestra, world premiere on 10 Nov 2018 at the Coronado Theatre in Rockford IL.


An on screen, political and military commentator for the former Touch Vision TV,  he is an, in demand,   motivational, political philosophy, business speaker/consultant, and MC on platforms across the country. 


He also chairs the Board of Advisors, Air Chicago, a new company providing affordable, private jet travel from the Chicago Executive Airport.  Previously, as CEO of Chicago’s United Way he was credited with a rebound of interest and annual campaign success exceeding 95 million dollars. 

In 2004 and 2006, maintaining that America needs an empowered, political middle, he was unsuccessful in quests for the U.S. Congress—obviously a better fighter pilot than a politician.  


A native Chicagoan (south side White Sox guy), his military career spanned 37 years. A highly decorated officer, his many awards include: The Silver Star, Two Distinguished Flying Crosses, Three Bronze Stars with V for Valor and Two Purple Hearts.  He was an F-15 Eagle fighter pilot and commander of the famed “Hat in the Ring” squadron. He was an Air Division commander at Minot AFB, ND and Head of Operations for Strategic Air Command (SAC) in Omaha. In that position, he directed SAC’s support of hostilities in the first Gulf War and Panama and was charged with execution responsibilities for the nation’s nuclear war plan. At the Pentagon, he led CHECKMATE, a highly classified war fighting think tank and was Director of Air Force Operational Requirements helping initiate a new family of guided weapons. In Germany, he commanded the largest fighter and support base outside the United States and later served at NATO’s Supreme Headquarters in Belgium working directly for the Supreme Commander and Chief of Staff. He was central to the creation of HQ North in Norway and served as Chief of Staff of that integrated NATO/National command.  He has piloted many aircraft including, the F16 Viper, F4 Phantom, the SR71 Blackbird, the U-2, and B-52 and B-1 bombers. During the Vietnam War, he was shot down by ground fire. Seriously injured and captured while trying to evade, he spent 6½ years as a POW in Hanoi. 

General Borling is a graduate of the Air Force Academy, The National War College and executive education at the JFK and Business Schools at Harvard.  He was a White House Fellow and, later, treasurer and director of the governing foundation and for many years a regional selection panel member.  


Current Civic activities include: Life Member, The Commercial Club of Chicago, Trustee and Regent, The Lincoln Academy of Illinois (Civic Committee Chairman, 2018 Convocation),  President, Sister Lakes Michigan Land Conservancy, Illinois Aviation Hall of Fame, Who’s Who in America and numerous other local and national organizations. 


He is married to, Myrna, his high school sweetheart. They live in Rockford, Illinois enjoying a 99 year old, home on the river, two cats and a Westie (Lilly Rocket).  They have two adult daughters.