During over 38 years’ service with the Army Reserve and the Royal Australian Air Force, John accrued substantial experience flying helicopters, heavy transport and training jets.   He was a qualified flying instructor and commanded a range of units and operations in war, border protection, peace keeping, humanitarian disaster relief and for the protection of Australians in dire circumstances. John has served on the Defence Airworthiness Board and in 2013 published a book on military service, family and society – Flight Command (Allen& Unwin).

Throughout a range of Command roles John was responsible for leading or providing critical support to a wide range of security, peacekeeping, combat and humanitarian assistance missions across Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East. 

Taking up duty as Director General Aerospace Development (2006 – 2008), John was responsible for over 100 projects including replacement transport aircraft, helicopters and training systems.  He also held leadership of the development of Defence’s force level electronic warfare program..

Commanding Air Lift Group (2008 – 2010) John drove substantial performance reforms.

John subsequently deployed as Deputy Commander Joint Task Force 633 from early 2011 with responsibilities for operations and sustainment for Australian forces across the Middle East.

Since retiring from military service, moved to live in a very rural environment and has engaged in manufacturing and energy systems development.  He has also rejoined the NSW Rural Fire Service where he recently qualified as a structural fire fighter for offensive fire attack and rescue and became Deputy Captain of the Robertson Brigade.