John "JV" Venable
Colonel John "JV" Venable, USAF (Ret.)
Colonel Venable was commissioned in 1981 through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program at The Ohio University, Athens, OH. He is a Fighter Weapons School Graduate who has commanded at both the Squadron and Group levels. In his last command, he led the 379th Expeditionary Operations Group during Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom; a command that encompassed 1,100 personnel and $5 billion in aircraft assets based at three different geographic locations, each engaged in combat. Colonel Venable is a fighter. In 1996, he was diagnosed with cancer and told, among other things that he would never fly again. Through shear will and determination, he beat the disease and the ensuing medical board and went on to perhaps his most notable assignment as the Commander and Demonstration Leader of the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the “Thunderbirds.” He has served on three continents through 16 different assignments, holds masters’ degrees in Aeronautical Sciences from Embry Riddle and Strategic Studies from the Air War College, and is a Command Pilot with over 350 combat and 4,400 total hours in the F-16 and OV-10 aircraft.