The U.S. Air Force and allied military forces coordinate national defense operations through state-of-the-art cyber communications equipment and highly-trained personnel. Col. James Hamilton has been at the forefront of those operations for almost 25 years, both in the U.S. and abroad.
Just relocated in July to Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, Hamilton is the Twelfth Air Force head of cyber forces supporting joint and coalition efforts in the Caribbean and Central and South America, as well as homeland disaster relief and border patrol operations. Prior to that, he served five years in Belgium as chief of operations for NATO Computer Information Services.
“I was in charge of NATO’s deployable communications equipment,” Hamilton said. “At multiple sites across Europe, allies operate equipment for defense operations and exercises. I forecasted manning requirements, maintenance and training schedules with National Military Representatives. Annually, I also directed the Alliance’s largest military cyber exercise to connect and synchronize NATO’s Response Force and U.S. European Command defense computer networks.”
“ASU’s environment nourished this AFROTC cadet’s dreams of self-improvement.”
A Marine Corps brat born in Cincinnati, Hamilton joined the Air Force as an enlisted airman in 1992. While stationed at nearby Goodfellow AFB, he earned his Bachelor of General Studies degree and Air Force commission through ASU’s ROTC Detachment 847. Since then, he has served in leadership positions at bases in South Dakota, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Germany and Belgium, as well as deployments to United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia and Eritrea, and Iraq. He credits his time at ASU with preparing him for career success.
“My ASU education journey matured my thinking, interpersonal communication skills, and leadership,” Hamilton said. “Herr (Otto) Tetzlaff’s German class and his explanation of culture aided my service in Germany and NATO. ASU’s psychology courses shaped my understanding of people, and AFROTC aerospace courses built the foundation of my leadership, which I use to engage and lead people internationally for military service.”
Among his long list of honors and awards, Hamilton’s military decorations include the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, Air & Space Command Medal and United Nations Medal.
For his tremendous career achievements and service to our nation and allies, the Alumni Association has named Hamilton its 2022 Distinguished ROTC Alumnus.
“I couldn’t be more surprised and humbled by this honor!” he said. “ASU’s environment nourished this AFROTC cadet’s dreams of self-improvement. Being honored years later culminates a journey that started in 1996.”
Hamilton’s wife, Jeanna (Class of 1998), also attended ASU. They have four children, two of them born in San Angelo.