Major General John E. Blair graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1966. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology and an ROTC commission as a second lieutenant in the United States Army Reserves. He was initially assigned to the Medical Field Service School, before reporting for training at the Rotary Wing Aviator Course.
General Blair successfully earned his aeronautical rating in 1967. He joined the 507th Medical Company at Fort Sam Houston as an Evacuation Pilot, then was assigned just months later to the 498th Medical Company in Vietnam for combat duty. During his Vietnam tour, he bravely served his country as an Evacuation Pilot, Executive Officer, and Flight Operations Officer. For his contributions to the war effort, he received the Purple Heart, Air Medal (with 19 Devices), Vietnam Campaign Medal (with 4 Bronze Stars), and the Republic of Vietnam Medal of Honor.
Following the war, the New Hampshire Army National Guard used his aviation and leadership skills in positions of responsibility. General Blair served as Flight Operations Officer and on two occasions, Commander of the 397th Medical Detachment, Concord, NH. He attended the OH-58 Instructor Pilot Course and was assigned as Aviation Safety Officer at Headquarters, New Hampshire Air National Guard. He also served New Hampshire as the State Aviation Officer from May 1979 to July 1985. After serving for a year as Commander, Troop Command in Concord, he was selected as Director of Logistics, Headquarters State Area Command. Between March 1989 and August 1993, he worked for the National Guard Bureau as United States Property and Fiscal Officer. Following that assignment after years of leadership excellence, he was selected as Chief of Staff, Headquarters, State Area Command.
In November of 1994, he became the Adjutant General, New Hampshire National Guard. He served as Military Chief of Staff to the Governor and the Executive Head of the Adjutant General’s Department. As Adjutant General, he provided oversight of all aspects of the Adjutant General’s Department, which included Army and Air National Guard and the New Hampshire Veteran’s Cemetery. He directed and planned the deployment of the forces of the NH National Guard in carrying out state military missions; establishing unified command of state forces when jointly engaged and performed such military duties under the Governor’s direction. In addition, General Blair acted as liaison for several state committees, commissions, and cabinets. He also interacted with various state, federal, and military officials as well as the State Partnership for Peace Initiative in El Salvador. He served in this key leadership position for ten years.
General Blair’s awards and decorations also include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal (with Silver Oak Leaf Clusters), National Defense Service Medal (with 1 Bronze Star), Armed Forces Reserve Medal (with Gold Hour Glass Device), Master Army Aviator Badge, the New Hampshire Commendation Medal, and the New Hampshire Service Medal (with 5 Devices).
For three years, he served on the Board of Directors of the New England Division of the American Red Cross. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Plus Time New Hampshire, which provides after school care, a safe environment, and learning experiences for children throughout the state.
For outstanding service and leadership to the United States Army Reserves and the New Hampshire National Guard, Major General John E. Blair is inducted into the ROTC Hall of Fame.