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Born on Terra to Angelos and Deby Cameron, John Cameron was groomed from an early age to become a medical doctor, like his father. He went through all the preparatory courses to apply to Terra's University of Health Sciences, achieving very good grades and giving the impression he was going to follow into his fathers footsteps. Without any warning, though, John instead applied to the UEE Army the day after the entry exams at the university, for reasons undisclosed up to this moment This created a tension between John and his parents and especially his father, who felt quite disappointed by the rush and inexplicable decision of his son.
John went through the UEE Army bootcamp, until he received detachment orders that were actually assigning him to a different field altogether: the Navy. His father hoping to keep his son safe from any ill fate that the "Jarheads" have -and being a military doctor once- pulled some strings to get John out of the trenches and onto the secure wings of UEE Navy, hoping for him to remain an attache to some high ranking officer. John did not only resign from that position, but applied to the Navy Academy to become a pilot.
Although his parents objected John's decision to still pursue active military position, the young man managed to go through the training and receive his first assignment: 1st Lieutenant, VF-11 Hellfire Squadron, UEE Frigate Castlemaine patrolling the western frontier of UEE for space Pirates. After a year on duty during a skirmish with pirates Castlemaine and its fighter wing escort were ambushed by a large hunting pack of Vanduul. With jump engines offline from the ambush and pinned down in an asteroid field, the UEE forces engaged the overwhelming enemy. It was the act of self sacrifice of the UEE forces that distracted the enemy long enough for a number pilots -among them Cameron- to jump out and send warning to nearby outposts, requesting reinforcements. The UEES Castlemaine and its escort were obliterated completely by the time reinforcements arrived in what was later known as the Thermopylae Incident.
Cameron along with the surviving pilots was reprimanded for dereliction of duty as the UEE HQ decided that abandoning the Castlemaine was a poor decision of the Captain and the pilots should have instead stayed to protect the frigate. The pilots were dishonorably discharged. It was then that Carrier Strike Group 3 picked John to join the team.