COL Stewart Bornhoft, USA, (Ret.)

SLDN Council - Stewart BornhoftColonel Stewart Bornhoft graduated from West Point in 1969, and initially reported to Fort Benning, Georgia, to become Airborne and Ranger qualified, before serving in the 47th Combat Engineer Battalion (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, NC. He then volunteered for Vietnam, where he was a Platoon Leader and Company Executive Officer. He volunteered to extend his combat tour and was given command of D Company, 26th Combat Engineer Battalion and then HHC of the 196th Infantry Brigade, before returning to Fort Bragg as a Battalion Adjutant. There, he also commanded his third company – B, 548th Engineer Battalion (Construction) – before attending the Infantry Officers Advance Course at Fort Benning.

He earned a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech and returned to the US Military Academy to teach Electrical Engineering to the cadets. While there, at night, he obtained his MBA from Long Island University. Subsequently, he was selected by the Superintendent of USMA, Lt. Gen. Andrew J. Goodpaster, to be his Aide-de-Camp for two years.

Following Command and General Staff College, he served in Germany with the 18th Engineer Brigade for three years as an S-3 Operations Officer, first at battalion and then brigade level. In the latter slot, he was also designated as the Deputy Task Force Commander for a 4,500 member engineer unit building the largest troop construction project ever undertaken by the Corps of Engineers in peacetime – the USAREUR Range Upgrade program – which provided state-of-the-art ranges for the Army’s latest main battle tanks and infantry fighting vehicles. His service there earned him national recognition for his engineering management skills, and he was presented the 1984 Wheeler Medal for Engineering Achievement by the Society of American Military Engineers.

Selected for LTC-level command, he returned to the states to serve for a year as an Assistant Director of Military Programs in the HQ of the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) before assuming command of the Charleston District of USACE, only one of four districts commanded by a LTC. After attending the Army War College in Carlisle, PA, he became Executive Director of Military Programs in HQ USACE and was again selected for command, this time at the COL level.

He took command of the Omaha District, the largest district in the USACE, in 1991, where he led a 1,700 member workforce spread across 10 mid-western states. In his final tour of duty, Colonel Bornhoft was the Director of Public Works at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Near the end of that tour, he was called to Oklahoma City by the Commander of Third Army to be the Secretary of the Army’s Defense Coordinating Officer on-site, during the rescue and recovery effort following the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in April 1995.

Colonel Bornhoft retired in September 1995, and his awards include the Legion of Merit (with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters), the Bronze Star (with OLC), the Meritorious Service Medal (with 2 OLCs), the Air Medal (with 3 awards), the Army Commendation Medal (with 2 OLCs), the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, the Parachutist Badge and the Ranger Tab. In addition, he has served as President of the Society of American Military Engineers for three posts (San Diego, Omaha, and Charleston), President of the West Point Society of Omaha, and achieved the second highest level in Toastmasters International. He has been a registered Professional Engineer in Virginia since 1979 and became a credentialed Project Management Professional in 2006.

He lives with his partner, Stephen, in Southern California, and has two grown children, both married, and three grandsons