Lieutenant-General José Ferreira joined the Air Force Academy in September 1980, and graduated as pilot in 1986, after the completion of a degree in Aeronautical Military Sciences.
In 1987 he was qualified on the Aviocar C-212 aircraft, having been assigned to Air Base 4, in Lajes/Azores, where he served in 503 Squadron and in September 1990 at Air Base 1, in Sintra, assigned to 401 Squadron.
In 1991 he attended the Flight Safety Management Course and the Jet Engine Mishap Investigation Course, in the United States Air Force.
In November 1993 he was posted at Air Base 6, in Montijo, at Squadron 601 where he qualified as commander and instructor pilot on the P-3P aircraft. He served in a variety of positions at the squadron and group levels, including Air Operations Officer, Squadron and Group Commander. He also served as Deputy Air Base 6 Commander.
Between 2006 and 2009 he was assigned, as staff officer at NATO Headquarters in Brussels at the International Military Staff – Plans and Policy Division.
Upon completion his tour at NATO, in October 2009 he was appointed Commander of Air Base 11, in Beja, having held this position until October 2011.
In November 2011, he was commissioned to the Air Force General Inspection where he served as Chief of the Accident Prevention Office.
After attending the Flag Officers Course in 2012/13, he was posted in the Air Force’s General Staff as Chief of Operations Division, a position he held for 2 years.
He was promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General in July 2015, having been assigned to the Air Command as Director of Air Operations.
Following his promotion to Major-General in September 2016, he was appointed Air Force Staff Coordinator, and inherently Chief of Cabinet of the National Aeronautical Authority.
He represented the Air Force and the National Aeronautical Authority in several international forums within the scope of NATO and the European Union, mentioning among others, the Air Missile Defense Committee, the Air Command and Control Steering Committee and the Single European Skies Military Aviation Board.
Throughout his career, he attended several courses, namely the, Senior Officer Promotion Course, Tactics and Naval Operations Course, Command and Leadership in Air Staff Course, NATO Defense Planning Course, National Defense Course at the National Defense Institute, and Flag Officer Course
Lieutenant-General José Ferreira logged 5000 flight hours on various types of aircraft, having participated in various operations within the scope of NATO throughout his career, as was the case of operation Sharp Guard, Active Endeavour, and as commanding officer of a C-130 aircraft deployment in Afghanistan.
He was promoted to his current rank in May 2019, having served as Air Force Personnel Commander up to October 2020, being then appointed as Director of the Military University Institute.