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Captain Brian Hamel is a surface warfare officer and current Executive Officer of USS IWO JIMA (LHD 7). He is the son and grandson of Navy sailors. A native of Kalamazoo, Michigan, he enlisted in the Navy in 1993 as a Personnelman and commissioned via the Broadened Opportunity for Officer Selection and Training Program, graduating from Old Dominion University in 2000.
He holds master’s degrees from Kenan Flagler Business School, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the U.S. Naval War College.
He commanded dock landing ships USS GUNSTON HALL (LSD 44) and USS CARTER HALL (LSD 50). At sea, he also deployed as Executive Officer in USS CARTER HALL (LSD 50); Material & Logistics Officer on the staff of Commander, Amphibious Squadron TWO; Engineer Officer in USS INGRAHAM (FFG 61); Auxiliary Officer in USS HALYBURTON (FFG 40); and as Weapons/Anti-Terrorism Officer in USS PORTLAND (LSD 37).
Ashore, Captain Hamel served as Director of Fleet Plans, Policy & International Engagements (N5) at U.S. Fleet Forces Command; Director of Navigation, Seamanship & Shiphandling Training (N72) and the Prospective Commanding Officer Course (N75A) at Surface Warfare Schools Command; as South & Southeast Asia Desk Officer and Executive Assistant to the Deputy Director of Politico-Military Affairs Asia in the Joint Staff (J5); on the Staff of the Vice Chief of Naval Operations (N09X) and Director of Logistics Programs and Business Operations (OPNAV N41); as Project Officer at Engineering Assessments Atlantic; and as Officer-in-Charge of NROTC Unit University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As an enlisted sailor, he served as the LHD-1 WASP Class new construction detailer at the Bureau of Naval Personnel (PERS 409C).
He has been awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (4 awards), as well as various other personal, unit, and campaign awards.