Clark Hickingbottom, Navy Veteran

Base Pilot, Air Evac Lifeteam

Clark Hickingbottom retired from the U.S. Navy in 2018 and immediately joined Air Evac Lifeteam as a Base Line Pilot. His primary roles as a Naval Aviator were flying aircraft-carrier-based SH-60F and HH-60H Sea Hawk helicopters for Search and Rescue, Combat Search and Rescue, Special Warfare Support, Logistics and Anti-Submarine missions. For Hickingbottom, there was always a commitment to serve others, making his transition to civilian life with AEL in Brownwood, Texas, a natural move. He lives by the ethos “So Others May Live.”

“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.”

Service Time

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

Memorable Citations

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