John Strang

Former Squadron Leader John says he’s sad to leave the Air Force after 30 years as a navigator, especially after dreaming about flying as a child. But his new civilian career is ‘out of this world’!

29 May 2020

John in a Royal Australian Air Force suit/uniform, his wife wearing a black blouse and skirt, the young daughter in a blue tartan dress and the young son in a black suit. The family are all sitting on concrete steps, wearing formal clothing.

The C-130 Hercules Air Mobility Officer has spent the last 14 years in the RAAF after coming to Australia as a UK lateral recruit with his wife. He’s had a great career including a deployment to Middle East and Afghanistan in 2001 and four Falkland Island tours.

John said he’ll miss Australia, and the shared history and mateship of the RAAF, but plans to stay in touch with friends he’s made over the time he’s been in the ADF.

“I have no regrets. I’ve loved my job and the voyage of discovery my service life has been, but like everyone else my priorities have changed over the years,” he said.

“As a family, we’ve managed deployments and postings, but the 2017 US posting has given my wife and children this opportunity where we’ve established a life and a home in New Mexico.”

A selfie of John, his wife and two young children. They are all smiling and wearing causal clothing.

John was in the process of transitioning and waiting to commence employment in US Space Command this May, when the outbreak of COVID-19 threatened to put a stop to his plans.

John’s family was already in the USA so he had to leave sooner than expected with borders rapidly closing to be with them. It was going to be a challenge, but John said Defence was able to adapt the support he needed.

“I’m incredibly thankful for the support and guidance of my transition coach in facilitating such a short turnaround for me,” said John. “I was pleasantly surprised by how flexible and well-structured it all was, considering the sudden change and the shortened timeframe.”

He said it’s been a lot easier than he imagined, even with the added complexity of international travel, the online coaching sessions across time zones, and getting his documentation organised by email made it so easy.

John and his wife are planning to purchase a home in the near future and settle down in the United States. Within the next few years he will be eligible for citizenship of what will be his fourth home country.

Thank you for your service, John. #OurVeterans #TYFYS