Clark Hickingbottom, Navy Veteran
Base Pilot, Air Evac Lifeteam
“The opportunity to come back home and share a piece of that professional commitment and ethos in the service of the smaller, remote towns and communities in my home state is very personally rewarding,” said Hickingbottom.
“I no longer view it as a “mission,” as I did in the military. But rather as a “continued sense of purpose” - and it’s extremely fulfilling for me to be able to help provide some sort of assistance and comfort to others in their time of need.”
Hickingbottom spent more than 14 of his 20 years of service overseas.
- Five cumulative years in Atsugi, Japan
- Three years in Germany
- Six cumulative years in various places in the Middle East with four of those years embarked aboard US Navy ships, underway on the high seas
Notable Military Ranks
Full Lieutenant (0-3) – A rank which Hickingbottom feels is the backbone of Naval Aviation. Though he achieved higher rank, this is the one that he feels has the most impact as:
- Expert pilots
- Adroit in all operations
- Mentors and trainers
- Guardians of the enlisted sailors
Hickingbottom is most proud of being honored with the Navy Battle “E” (Efficiency) Award, which he and his shipmates received an amazing four times.
- Awarded annually to the single best Ship/Submarine/Aircraft Squadron of each type or class for being the peak performing operational unit for that mission-set
- A unit award; not an individual award
- Signifies the most operationally proficient unit; the one which achieved optimal training & readiness requirements, and exceeded all operational goals at the “tip of the spear,” all while operating safely