After completing four years as an Air Training Corps Cadet in the Victorian Squadron, Air Training Corps, he reached the rank of Cadet Under Officer and was awarded a Flying Scholarship. John joined the RAAF in 1965 as a pilot retiring in 1987 reaching the rank of WGCDR. John served in operational tours flying Caribou and C130 aircraft in Australia, Papua New Guinea and Vietnam. He served in the USA on exchange with the USAF flying the T-39 Sabreliner and as a staff officer. John served as the Commanding Officer of the Air Transport Squadron Papua New Guinea Defence Force flying the DC3, Nomad and Arava aircraft. He was awarded the MBE for services in Papua New Guinea. John was QLD Manager Airclaims Australia Pty Ltd, investigating aircraft accidents.
John served as a member of the RAAF Active Reserve (RAAFAR) until December 2013, working to develop and further enhance the functioning and performance evaluation of the AAFC. John is the Director of the Air Cadet Alumni.