Capt. Hamilton is a native of Alabama where he earned an undergraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering from Auburn University in 1981. He also holds a Master of Science Degree from the University of Tennessee.
Following flight training, Capt. Hamilton reported to the “Knighthawks” of VFA-136 at NAS Cecil Field, FL. While on his first sea tour he attended the Navy Fighter Weapons School, commonly known as TOPGUN, and was selected COMNAVAIRLANT LSO of the Year for 1990. He completed Mediterranean deployments in USS Coral Sea (CV 43) and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69).
Following training at the US Naval Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, Maryland, Capt. Hamilton served as F/A-18 Project Officer at Naval Weapons Center (NWC), China Lake, California. In addition to test pilot duties in weapons and systems integration, he designed several software functions still utilized by Hornets and Super Hornets and was the first to release a self-laser guided weapon from an F/A-18. Capt. Hamilton’s Department Head tour was in the “Rampagers” of VFA-83 at NAS Cecil Field. He deployed in USS Enterprise (CVN 65), flying patrol missions over Bosnia and Iraq.
Capt. Hamilton returned to China Lake as the Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC), Weapons Division senior developmental test pilot for the F/A-18 E/F. He was the first to fly the Super Hornet at night and the first to fly it utilizing night vision devices.
He reported to the “Sidewinders” of VFA-86 as Executive Officer in 1999 and deployed in USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67). Following the September 11th terrorist attacks, with Capt. Hamilton serving as Commanding Officer, the “Sidewinders” deployed in USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM, where he flew 43 combat missions over Afghanistan. Following Nuclear Power Training, Capt. Hamilton reported to USS Enterprise (CVN 65) as Executive Officer where he deployed to the North Atlantic during SUMMER PULSE ’04.
Capt. Hamilton assumed command of USS DUBUQUE (LPD 8) in November 2005 and led the ship through a 9 month deployment to the Western Pacific and North Arabian Gulf while transporting the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit to duty in Iraq. In 2007, he became the Joint Deployment Operations Director (J33) at US Joint Forces Command where he sourced and deployed forces from all four military services in support of Geographic Combatant Commander requirements.
Prior to assuming command of USS Enterprise (CVN 65), Capt. Hamilton served as Aircraft Carrier Requirements Officer for Commander Naval Air Forces where he led efforts to upgrade and maintain the current fleet of aircraft carriers and integrate our newest carrier, USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), into the Navy.
Capt. Hamilton has logged over 5500 total flight hours and over 850 carrier landings. He was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal (2), Air Medal, Air Medal with Combat “V”, Strike Flight Air Medal (6), Navy Commendation Medal (2), and the Navy Achievement Medal (2), in addition to other unit and campaign awards. During his career, he was recognized on twenty occasions as a “top ten” pilot in carrier landing evaluations.