skip to navigation skip to content skip to footer

John Belmonte - Lyons

His heart belongs to God, and his hands are there to help everyone, Jon Belmonte is putting his life devotion to practice.

The 45yr old, from Lyons in the NT, has been a devoted member of the Salvation Army since 1995, ordained and commissioned to Lieutenant in 2010, promoted to Captain in 2016.

Jon married his teenage sweetheart Leah and they have two adult children, Jonno and Lorinda.

Growing up in Canberra and spending time in Katoomba, Jon now calls Darwin home.

The Belmonte family has a proud history with the ADF. His father was a member in the Navy; his Mother served with the WRAAF and in the late 80's Jon was an Infantryman with the Australian Regular Army.

His son Jonno recently served with the Australian Army Aviation and is about to graduate with honours from the University of Canberra.

Lorinda, his daughter, is working as a Pharmacy assistant and planning to do a Pharmacology degree.

Jon is a proud member of the Salvation Army's Red Shield Defence Services (RSDS) and, over the past three months, he has looked after the welfare of our ADF troops on operations in the Middle East region.

The main role of the ADF philanthropic organisation is to provide commanders with another option for welfare services to improve the troops’ morale and well-being.

"I'm here to offer my ear, to listen to the concerns of these brave young people.

"To look after their welfare," Jon said.

Sitting in his office - strategically placed in the recreation area, so the troops' can just walk in and importantly, that they know where to find him - Jon's door is always open.

He can often be seen walking around the corridors of units with a box of treats - on offer lollipops, icy pops, whatever he feels it takes to get close to people and have a chat, to make sure they are ok.

"Sometimes I am the "sounding board," which is good, I like people to vent, to tell me what has stressed them out during the day, because they feel better in doing so," Jon said.

"I have been impressed with the young people here.

"The calibre, knowledge, skill, and the professionalism they have, from my perspective; the ADF and to a greater extent Australia should be very proud of what goes on here," he said.

"They are quiet achievers, without these people working around the clock day in day out, we would not have that capability."

Jon said he works closely with the ADF chaplains. As he is outside of the military system, troops' find it easier to confide in him. He is known amongst the troops' as the 'Sallyman'.

His deployment at Australia's main command and support base at Camp Baird in the Middle East region is a four-month rotation, alternating with the Everyman's Welfare Service.

Back in Darwin, he is embedded as the Salvation Army's RSDS, Officer in Charge for 1st Brigade at Robertson Barracks. His wife Leah is also a devoted officer in the Salvation Army, embedded with 1st Combat Signals Regiment.