John grew up in the countryside outside of Olympia. After graduating from Olympia High School, John joined the Navy instead of going directly to university. That decision had a profound impact on his life and success.
During his service in last days of the Vietnam war and subsequent cold war, John learned leadership, responsibility, and accountability. The Navy trained him in advanced digital electronics and he conducted electronic intelligence work with a top government security clearance. During his college years, John joined the Navy Reserve.
Alongside his professional and family obligations, John served in the Reserve for 24 years, attending the U.S. Navy’s Senior Enlisted Academy, leading his river boat unit during combat operations in Kuwait and Iraq, and for two deployments to the Korean peninsula. He retired in 2008 with rank of Master Chief Petty Officer.