My father, Wing Commander John C Griffiths, MBE, joined the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) from Melbourne in the mid-late 1960s.
Dad was my inspiration to join the Australian Defence Force. Although I am Navy, he has never held that against me.
My father is a true leader of the highest integrity and dedication to duty. He has always been my inspiration as a leader and as an officer.
I am exceptionally proud of his service to our nation and I value the support he has given me and my wife throughout our careers as well as the motivation and inspiration he has given our son who is at ADFA commencing his own military career.
I grew up a RAAF brat, always proud of my father the Air Force pilot.
Originally, Dad learned to fly as a member of the RAAF Air Training Corps while in school.
After the Pilots’ course, Dad converted onto the Caribou, deploying to Vietnam for 12 months with No. 35 Squadron.
On return he married Mum (Lyn) and started a family that would eventually produce three RAAF brats.
He later became a flying instructor at No.1 Flying Training School on the CAC CA-25 Winjeel - a three-seat training aircraft - and survived an incident when his student crashed near Point Cook.
Dad flew E model C-130 Hercules with No. 37 SQN for a time and in 1977 the family posted to No. 38 SQN, RAAF Base Townsville, where he again flew Caribou.
In 1978 we posted to southern California and Dad worked in air safety with the United States Air Force (USAF) where he flew the Sabreliner, a small business jet.
We returned to Canberra in 1981 and then in 1983 posted to Lae in Papua New Guinea (PNG) where Dad served as the Commanding Officer, Air Transport Squadron, PNG Defence Force.
In PNG he flew DC-3, GAF (Government Aircraft Factory) Nomad and the Israeli Aircraft industry Arava. For this service, he was awarded an MBE (Member of the British Empire).
Dad left the RAAF in 1987 and around two years later I joined Navy.
After leaving the RAAF Dad worked in civil air safety for years prior to taking on a RAAF Reserve role with the Australian Air Force Cadets (AAFC). He is a huge supporter of youth development.
Although retired, Dad is still actively involved with the Air Training Corps and a variety of Air Force associations.
My father served in Air Force for 22 years full time and retired in 1987, followed by Reserve service in later years.
He remains passionate about the ADF and especially the RAAF. He remains an aviator - once a pilot always a pilot.
Wing Commander John C Griffiths (ret’d) is a true leader and has always been a fine example of what it means to be an Officer in the Australian Defence Force.