John served in the US Army from 1957 to 1959. After his service, he resumed training in ski jumping and became a member of the 1962 FIS World team. In 1963, he set the hill record on the famous Holmenkollen in Oslo, Norway. In 1965, he set a North American distance record of 325 feet at Iron Mountain, Michigan. At the time, he compiled the best international record of any American ski jumper in history.