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Command Biography
HMH-461 Executive Officer
Major Joseph W. Hawkinson

Major Hawkinson is a native of Mount Clemens, Michigan.  In 2006, he enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve, serving as a Squad Automatic Rifleman and Fire Team Leader with 3rd Platoon, Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 24th Marines.

Major Hawkinson was commissioned in September 2010 upon graduation from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and History. After completing The Basic School in April 2011, he reported to Pensacola, Florida, for Naval Flight Training.  In November 2013, Major Hawkinson earned his wings and was designated a Naval Aviator.  Following winging, he attended Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) school in Portsmouth, Maine and then reported to Marine Heavy Helicopter Training Squadron (HMHT) 302 for follow on training in the CH-53E Super Stallion.

Upon designation as a CH-53E pilot in August of 2014, Major Hawkinson was assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 461, where he served from 2014 until 2019.  During his tour with HMH-461, Maj Hawkinson deployed aboard the USS Bataan with VMM-365 (REIN), where he flew missions in support of 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit Operations and Humanitarian Assistance/ Disaster Relief in Haiti from October 2016 until October 2017.  In 2018, Major Hawkinson graduated from Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course and was designated a Weapons and Tactics Instructor.  During his time at HMH-461 Major Hawkinson served in various assignments including S-4 Officer, Airframes Officer in Charge, Pilot Training Officer, Assistant Operations Officer, and Director of Safety and Standardization.

Following his initial fleet tour with HMH-461, Major Hawkinson attended Expeditionary Warfare School (EWS) in Quantico, Virginia, graduating in May 2020.

In June 2020, Major Hawkinson reported to Marine Test and Evaluation Squadron One (VMX-1)  where he served as a CH-53K Operational Test Pilot and the Director of Safety and Standardization, conducting the Initial Operational Test and Evaluation of the CH-53K King Stallion.  

In March 2020, Major Hawkinson returned to HMH-461where he held the billets of the Director of Safety and Standardization and Aircraft Maintenance Officer. He currently serves as the HMH-461Executive Officer.

Major Hawkinson’s personal awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with gold star in lieu of second award.  

2nd Marine Aircraft Wing