John Klompenhouwer

A desk job was never going to suit someone who maintained fighter jets or who on occasion, sat in the back of a Dassault Mirage aircraft.

8 April 2020

A desk job was never going to suit someone who maintained fighter jets or who on occasion, sat in the back of a Dassault Mirage aircraft. So despite being offered further service two years past compulsory retirement age, John Klompenhouwer, decided to transition from permanent service after 40 years in the Australian Air Force.

This is the second time John has transitioned from Air Force. The first was in 1989, after 12 years’ service, to pursue an opportunity in Saudi Arabia instructing personnel in Tornado aircraft maintenance. On his return to Australia he had a new-found passion to re-join Air Force and started the second stage of his service.

Reflecting on the differences between his first transition and today this time he was provided with one-on-one coaching with an ADF transition coach, as well as workshops on career planning and job search preparation.

“I was given some very useful information and was pleasantly surprised. If you are leaving it’s important to start your run early and not wait until the last moment,” John said. 

John was the safety adviser for RAAF Base Richmond, Glenbrook and Orchard Hills. He is now planning to maintain his connection with the ADF as an active reservist, working in Sydney as a Military Transition Support Officer within Defence Community Organisation.

“I’m looking forward to helping members and their families make the transition from service to civilian life easier.”

In his spare time he will continue his work as a Department of Veterans’ Affairs advocate and point of contact for engineering students. He also wants to spend more time with his children and grandchildren.

“It’s time to enjoy the good times ahead while I’m still fit enough to enjoy them!”