Chairman and CEO
Commander Tom Hawkins retired from the U.S. Navy after 24-years active service as a career SEAL and Naval Special Warfare (NSW) officer. Upon graduation from college, he entered the Navy in February 1966, and was commissioned the following May. He completed Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) with Class 38 in Little Creek, Virginia and subsequently completed operational tours in UDT-21, UDT-22, and SEAL Team TWO, where he deployed to the Republic of Vietnam as a Platoon Commander.
Tom served in a number of significant assignments including: Assistant for Special Units at the Naval Sea Systems Command; Project Engineer at the Navy Experimental Diving Unit, Washington, DC; Executive Officer, UDT-21; and, Operational Test Director at the Navy’s Operational Test and Evaluation Force. He commanded UDT-22 for 33 months during the period of its reorganization and establishment as SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team TWO. After assignment as Deputy Commander and Chief Staff Officer, Naval special Warfare Group TWO he served at the NSW Directorate (OP-31) on the Navy Staff in the Pentagon, and at the time of his Navy retirement was Director, NSW Programs at the Naval Sea Systems Command, where he served as the NSW Acquisition Program Manager.
After leaving the Navy Tom served in various defense contractor positions related to Naval Special Warfare. From 2002 through 2007 he completed an assignment as staff Requirements Analyst and Science and Technical Advisor to Commander, Naval Special Warfare Group FOUR. From there went to the Combat Development Directorate at the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, where he served seven years as an acquisition and requirements analyst until his retirement from the active workforce on May 20, 2014.
From 1995 to 2005 Tom served as president of the UDT-SEAL Association—the national fraternal organization of U.S. Navy Frogmen and SEALs. During the same period he served as president of the UDT-SEAL Memorial Park Association and on the Board of Directors at the UDT-SEAL Museum Association. In the year 2000 Tom conceived the Naval Special Warfare Foundation and served as founding President, Chairman of the Board, and Director, History and Heritage. From1994 until 2005, he served as editor and publisher of the UDT-SEAL Association and Navy SEAL Foundation’s quarterly publication The BLAST – The Journal of Naval Special Warfare.
In 2012 Tom was a contributing author of five chapters and numerous photographs in the book United States Naval Special Warfare U.S. Navy SEALs by Greg Mathieson and David Gatley. He is the author of The History and Heritage of U.S. Navy SEALs published by the Pritzker Military Museum and Library in Chicago. In 2014, Tom founded Phoca Press to serve as an outlet for the wealth of material of educational and historical importance especially surrounding maritime special operations. Phoca Press will soon present Tom’s latest book America’s Hidden Heroes: The History and Evolution of U.S. Navy Frogmen and SEALs, which comes out February 13, 2015. He is already at work on his next book.