John joined the Royal Air Force in 1979 as a pilot on completion of his degree in Philosophy and Mathematics at Kings College, London. He flew the Phantom and Tornado F3 in operations and on exercise becoming an instrument rating examiner and weapons instructor. John commanded 111(F) Squadron. On the ground, he investigated aircraft accidents, was part of the team developing Typhoon avionics and the operational fleet manager for the Tornado F3. He was also responsible for the preparation and deployment of all RAF operations during the firemans strike and the second Gulf War. On promotion to Group Captain John set up the RAF Leadership Centre in 2003. He attended Staff College with the Royal Navy, and has a MA in Defence Studies. He also has a PhD in Leadership. Since 2010 John has been an independent Leadership Consultant while also working as a RAF Reserve Group Captain delivering strategic leadership programs to senior officers, learning from history as well as modern scholarship and example. John was the first Commandant of the Tedder Academy as well as continuing his consultancy work. He now works with 601(County of London) Reserve Squadron alongside being a consultant.