Lieutenant Colonel (LtCol) Hinton graduated from St. Cloud State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation Operations in May 1999 and completed The Basic School (TBS) in March 2000. He was designated a Naval Aviator on 30 August 2002 and received orders to VMFAT- 101, MCAS Miramar for follow-on training in the F/A-18 Hornet.
In November 2003, LtCol Hinton was assigned to the “Red Devils” of VMFA-232 where he was the head Landing Signals Officer and earned many flight qualifications to include Division Lead and Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor. LtCol Hinton participated in two Western Pacific (WESTPAC) carrier deployments with Carrier Air Wing ELEVEN (CVW-11) aboard the USS NIMITZ (CVN-68) and participated in Operations IRAQI FREEDOM (OIF) and ENDURING FREEDOM (OEF). During his four-year tour, he held various collateral duties including Ground Training Officer, Schedules Writer, Flight Officer, Airframes Division Officer, Assistant Aircraft Maintenance Officer, and Logistics Officer.
In November 2007, LtCol Hinton was selected to participate in the Personnel Exchange Program. He received orders to No. 75 Squadron, 81 Wing, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), RAAF Base Tindal, Northern Territory, Australia. As a “Magpie” he earned the qualification of B1-Category pilot (Mission Commander) and filled the roles of Fighter Combat Instructor, Flying Supervisor, and Flight Commander.
In January 2010, LtCol Hinton was assigned as the Air Officer for the “Fightin’ 6th” Marine Regiment, Camp Lejeune where he attended Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) school and Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) Air Officer Course earning the qualifications of TACP(I), and JTAC(E). In August 2011, LtCol Hinton received orders to the “Thunderbolts” of VMFA-251, MCAS Beaufort where he took on the roles of Aircraft Maintenance Officer and Operations Officer. He earned the qualifications of Post Maintenance Check Flight pilot, Mission Commander, and Carrier Air Wing Airborne Interdiction Mission Commander. He participated in an 8-month carrier deployment with CVW-1 aboard the USS ENTERPRISE (CVN-65) in support of OEF.
In July 2014, LtCol Hinton received orders back to Miramar where he served as the Operations Officer and Executive Officer for VMFA-323. As a “Death Rattler” he deployed to the US Pacific Command’s area of responsibility to take part in the Marine Corps’ 2015 Unit Deployment Program (UDP). In July 2016, LtCol Hinton received orders to NAS North Island to serve as the TACAIR Integration Officer for the Commander, Naval Air Forces (aka “Air Boss”). As a staff officer, LtCol Hinton worked in the Readiness Division focused on Navy and Marine Corps TACAIR integration and F35 transition.
In January 2018, LtCol Hinton reported back to Miramar where he was assigned as the MAG-11 Headquarters Squadron Commanding Officer and F35 Transition Task Force lead. On 31 May 2018, LtCol Hinton assumed command of the VMFA-314 Black Knights. LtCol Hinton has a Master’s degree in Military Operational Art and Science and has logged more than 2400 flight hours, 320 of which were in support of combat operations. His personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with Strike/Flight numeral 2, Navy Commendation Medal with two Gold Stars, and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Gold Star.