Initially an enlisted “Green Beret” with 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and for the past 24 years a U.S. Army Chaplain, Chaplain (Colonel) Hawkins current assignment is as the 42nd Commandant of the United States Army Chaplain Center and School, at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Ordained as a Christian Minister by The Church of the Nazarene, Chaplain Hawkins’ greatest joy remains delivering hope and help to Soldiers and their Families through Chaplains and Religious Affairs Specialists of exceptional character, competence, and connection for “God and Country.” He and his wife of 34 years, Lori, have two married children and a grandchild.
Chaplain Hawkins’ four combat deployments include Operation Iraqi Freedom as an Airborne Brigade Combat Team Chaplain, Operation Enduring Freedom as Special Operations Task Force Chaplain and as a Division Chaplain, and most recently, Operation Inherent Resolve, as the Command Chaplain.
Chaplain Hawkins has served in a wide variety of assignments as an Army Chaplain, to include Battalion Chaplain of the 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment and 536th Engineers (Combat) (Heavy) in Panama from 1993-1995. He then served as the Assistant Group Chaplain to 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Ft. Lewis, Washington from 1995-1998. Following this assignment, he was the Battalion Chaplain to the 307th Engineers, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina from 1998-2001. After completing a Master’s Degree in Community Counseling in conjunction with the Chaplaincy’s Family Life Training Program, Chaplain (Major) Hawkins attended the Command and General Staff Officers Course at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. He then served as the Family Life Chaplain for Ft. Benning, Georgia from 2003-2006. Chaplain (Major) Hawkins led as the Brigade Chaplain for the 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Ft. Bragg, North Carolina and the unit’s deployment to the “Surge” in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Subsequently, in 2008 and 2009, Chaplain (Lieutenant Colonel) Hawkins served as Deputy Command Chaplain for Warrior and Family Sustainment with the Joint Special Operations Command, Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. In January of 2010, Chaplain Hawkins arrived in Seoul, Korea, to be the Garrison Chaplain for U.S. Army Garrison – Yongsan. In 2012, Chaplain (Lieutenant Colonel) Hawkins became the Division Chaplain for the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. Following deployment to Afghanistan as the Command Chaplain for Combined Joint Task Force – 101 and a year at the U.S. Army War College, Chaplain Hawkins reported to Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, with duty across the Middle East as the Command Chaplain for U.S. Army Central and as the Command Chaplain for Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve.
Chaplain Hawkins will complete his Doctor of Ministry degree at Erskine Theological Seminary, in Due West, South Carolina, this spring. He also holds Masters Degrees from The United States Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia, and The Nazarene Theological Seminary, in Kansas City, Missouri. His undergraduate degree is from the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida.
Chaplain Hawkins numerous awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit (1 oak leaf cluster), the Bronze Star (1 oak leaf cluster), the Special Forces Tab, the Master Parachutist Badge, the Air Assault Badge, and the Combat Action Badge.
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