12-18-2012 -- style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;">By Barbara Hamby, MCSC Corporate Communications
Anyone who has worked with Don Hamilton knows his focus has always been taking care of Marines.
“He lived by the credo that, ‘if you're not a Grunt, you support a Grunt,’” said co-worker Mark Maynard, who learned the ropes from Hamilton as an equipment specialist working for Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) in Albany, Ga.
Hamilton, who served his country for more than 50 years, was honored at a retirement ceremony held Nov. 29. He received retirement letters from MCSC Commander Brig. Gen. Frank Kelley, the Secretary of Navy and the President of the United States. Hamilton was also presented with a flag that had flown over the Marine Corps War Memorial.
Hamilton’s active duty days as a utilities engineer led him to many assignments and locales, including Vietnam, Camp Lejeune, Washington, D.C, Okinawa and Albany, Ga. Hamilton retired after 27 years but decided he wasn’t done serving fellow Marines.
Appointed to civil service, Hamilton devoted the next 23 years to supporting Marines in maintenance, provisioning and supply support. As a lead equipment specialist, he worked on a number of programs, from protective clothing to shelters to trucks. In 2007, he was assigned as the lead equipment specialist for the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicle Program just as the program was growing to become a major defense acquisition. Getting the life-saving armored trucks to Iraq and Afghanistan became the Secretary of Defense’s highest priority.
“Don's experience and no-nonsense attitude was invaluable to the MRAP program,” said Dave Hansen, joint program manager for the MRAP program. “And since he was here in the beginning, he helped set the program on the right track.”
Hamilton shared that experience with many, mentoring countless numbers of support contractors and civil servants alike who worked at Albany, Quantico and wherever he traveled in support of the Marine Corps.
“He never wanted the limelight,” Maynard said. “He just wanted Marines to be able to accomplish their mission and was always willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen.”