Master Gunnery Sgt. Zabdiel Hamilton, a Kingston, Jamaica native, enlisted in the Marine Corps in January 1998 and graduated boot camp in April 1998.
After successfully completing boot camp, Hamilton reported to North Carolina and attended Marine Combat Training aboard Camp Geiger. Hamilton then reported to Camp Pendleton, California for Military Occupation Specialty training as a helicopter mechanic on the AH-1W Super Cobra and the UH-1N Huey utility helicopters.
Once MOS training was complete, Private Hamilton was given orders to report to Marine Air Group 46 Detachment A aboard Camp Pendleton, California, in September 1998. While stationed at Marine Air Group 46 Detachment A, Hamilton honed his skills as a helicopter mechanic. With prior aviation experience, Hamilton advanced quickly and became a dual qualified plane captain by June 1999 and a collateral duty inspector in December 1999. Now a lance corporal, Hamilton was temporarily assigned as a collateral duty quality assurance representative (CDQAR) in June 2000, a billet held by more senior ranking and experienced Marines. Hamilton was meritoriously promoted to corporal in December 2000 and permanently assigned as a CDQAR.
Hamilton participated in several Joint Task Force detachments supporting the United States Forest Service in the fight against drugs. Along with joint detachments, Hamilton participated in several weapons tactics instructor courses and combined arms exercises in Yuma, Arizona, and 29 Palms, California.
Hamilton was promoted to sergeant in December 2001 and held billets meant for senior non-commissioned officers such as flight line NCOIC and phase crew division NCOIC. Hamilton received orders to report to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 167 (HMLA 167) at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina, in September 2003.
While stationed at HMLA 167, Hamilton served a variety of billets including flight line NCOIC, phase crew division NCOIC and maintenance control NCOIC. Hamilton was promoted to staff sergeant in July 2005. Hamilton deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) a total of five times from 2004 to 2009. Hamilton was promoted to the rank of gunnery sergeant in January 2009 and became HMLA 167 quality assurance division chief. During his last OIF deployment, Hamilton was awarded a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for performance while serving as the quality assurance division chief.
Hamilton left HMLA 167 and deployed with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit attached to Marine Tiltrotor Squadron 263 in November 2010 as the H-1 SNCOIC and returned to HMLA 167 in July 2011 and was assigned as a quality assurance representative. Hamilton went on to participate in several exercises such as Weapons Tactic Instructor (WTI) Course and the Integrated Training Exercise (ITX) as the quality assurance division chief and in December 2012 was reassigned as the HMLA 167 quality assurance division chief. Hamilton deployed with HMLA 167 to Afghanistan in 2013 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Hamilton was then reassigned as the Flight Line Senior NCO-in-charge and executed those orders in June 2015 to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron 303 (HMLA/T 303) at Camp Pendleton, California. While at HMLA/T 303, Hamilton was assigned as the flight line division chief.
Hamilton was promoted to the rank of master sergeant in January 2016 and received orders to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 363 (VMM 363). Hamilton deployed with VMM-363 and conducted several exercises to include ITX and WTI and then to Kuwait in support of Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force 16.2. Hamilton then reported to the School of Infantry West to serve as the aviation liaison for the west coast aviation training pipeline. While serving as aviation liaison, Hamilton was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (fifth award) for performance of duties.
Hamilton was promoted to rank of master gunnery sergeant in June 2019 and received orders to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 469 (HMLA 469). While at HMLA 469, Hamilton prepared the squadron for deployment on the unit deployment program to Okinawa, Japan, by improving maintenance competency, which led to an improvement in overall aircraft readiness.
Hamilton currently serves as the CNATT Detachment Camp Pendleton Senior NCO-in-charge and senior enlisted advisor.
Last Updated: 24 November 2020