Master Chief Hopper enlisted into the Navy in July of
1996 and completed Basic Training at Recruit Training Command Great Lakes,
Illinois. Following graduation he reported
to Aviation Electronics Technician “A” school at Naval Air Technical Training
Center Pensacola, Florida. In 1998, he
attended P-3 In-Flight Technician (IFT) training at Patrol Squadron THREE ZERO
(VP-30) aboard Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida, where he earned his
Naval Aircrewman designation.
His first operational assignment was with the “Fighting
Tigers” of Patrol Squadron EIGHT (VP-8), home ported in Brunswick, Maine. During this tour, he served as an IFT and
Collateral Duty Inspector. In 2003, he earned his Master Training Specialist
qualification while assigned to VP-30 Pro’s Nest as an IFT Instructor and Fleet Naval Aviation
Training Operations Standardization (NATOPS) Evaluator. He then reported to the “Mad Foxes” of Patrol
Squadron FIVE (VP-5) in 2004 where
he served as a Quality Assurance Representative, Safe for Flight Controller,
and NATOPS Instructor. In 2008, he was
selected to Chief Petty Officer. He
returned to VP-30 for a second IFT Instructor tour in 2009 and volunteered
as an Individual Augmentee to Iraq conducting civil affairs operations with the
422nd Battalion, the “Centurions”. In 2011, he reported to the “Skinny Dragons”
of Patrol Squadron FOUR (VP-4) in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii as the Operation
Departments Leading Chief Petty Officer.
In 2015, he transferred to Recruit Training Command where he served as a
Recruit Division Commander, Ship’s (barracks) Leading Chief Petty Officer and
Fleet Leading Chief Petty Officer.
He was selected for Command Master Chief in 2017 and
reported in April 2018 to his current assignment as the Command Master Chief of
Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron SEVEN FOUR (HSM-74), the “Swamp Foxes”.
His personal awards include the Air Medal (Strike/Flight),
the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards), the Army
Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (eight awards),
the Good Conduct Medal (seven awards), and the Volunteer Service Medal (two