Commander H. Lamont Gourdine, USN (ret.) enjoyed a phenomenal 20+ years of military service, now enjoying several new business opportunities. He was born in Charleston, South Carolina and graduated as a two-time football letterman and with a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from the Naval Academy in May 1995.
After graduation from the Naval Academy, Cmdr. Gourdine served on the staff as an Assistant Admissions Officer and Diversity Counselor. After receiving his "Wings of Gold" in 1998, his first operational CH-46 Sea Knight squadron was Helicopter Combat Support Squadron EIGHT in Norfolk, Virginia. He served as Division Officer and deployed with Detachment SEVEN on board USS BATAAN (LHD 5) as Division Officer and Assistant Operations Officer. Ashore, he served as the Officer-In-Charge, Helicopter Operations Atlantic (HELIOPS), responsible for the Helicopter Control Officer (HCO), Landing Signalman Enlisted (LSE), and Helicopter Instrument Requalification Ground Schools. He then re-deployed with Detachment SIX on board USS KEARSARGE (LHD 3) as the Assistant Officer-In-Charge. In January 2002, Cmdr. Gourdine reported to the United States Naval Academy as a Minority Admissions Officer, Senior Naval Academy Preparatory School Admissions Coordinator, and Aviation Practicum Instructor. He also served as the President and Vice President of the National Naval Officers Association (NNOA) Annapolis Chapter, providing mentorship to youth along with scholarship opportunities and guidance to Officers in the Naval Services.
In Norfolk, he served as the Assistant Air Operations Officer (MINI BOSS) and deployed in direct support of Operations IRAQI and ENDURING FREEDOM. During this deployment aboard USS NASSAU (LHA 4), he earned his Officer of the Deck and Command Duty Officer (underway) qualification. Following this assignment, he reported to MH-60S Helicopter Sea Combat Support Squadron TWO TWO "Sea Knights." As a "Plankowner," he served as the first Tactics Officer of the squadron, acquiring all of the necessary weaponry and support gear to take the aircraft into harm's way. He ultimately served as the Maintenance Officer, taking HSC-22 through its first Aviation Maintenance Management Team Inspection. In 2007, he led the department in having one of the most outstanding inspections in the United States Navy, leading to the squadron's first Battle "E" award. In June of 2008, he reported as Aide/Chief of Protocol to the Commander, United States Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk. He planned and coordinated numerous high-visibility events, including the historical USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH Commissioning (CVN 77) in which he worked directly with the staffs of former President Bush and the Cabinet of then President Bush. He also served as the Commander's diversity representative to several national organizations in support of policies for the Chief of Naval Operations.
After completing this four-star headquarters assignment, Cmdr. Gourdine reported to U.S. Joint Forces Command/Deputy Director, Joint Staff, J7 in October 2009. During his three-year tour, he participated in over 20 major exercises and events supporting functional and geographic Combatant Commands and Joint Task Force Headquarters. In addition, Cmdr. Gourdine made significant contributions to the Insights and Best Practices Focus Paper published in July 2011 entitled, "Assessment -- A Joint Force Operational Perspective." He is also a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College and Joint Forces Staff College, earning his Joint Qualified Officer designation.
In 2013, he was assigned as the Deputy Director for Air Operations, US Navy Central Command. While there, he also served as the liaison for the French Aircraft Carrier CHARLES de GAULLE CTF 473 deployment to the Arabian Gulf and its integration with the USS HARRY S TRUMAN (CVN 75) Carrier Strike Group. The deep integration of the two nations was the first of its kind in history. Prior to reporting to Annapolis, Cmdr. Gourdine served as the Program Manager for the Joint Deployment / Global Force Management (JOPES/GFM) instructors at the Joint Deployment Training Center at Fort Eustis, VA. He also gives instruction by giving the Joint Executive Presentation to the Senior Staff of organizations, giving insight on the capabilities of operational movement of forces worldwide.
Cmdr. Gourdine earned his Master of Business Administration (Project Management Concentration) from Norwich University in 2016. His personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Navy Commendation Medal (three awards), Navy Achievement Medal, Joint Staff Badge, the French Médaille de la Défense Nationale (French National Defense Medal, Gold Award), and numerous unit, campaign, and service awards.
In the past year, Cmdr. Gourdine read Admiral William McRaven’s book, “Make Your Bed: Little Things Chat Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World”. Ken Blanchard’s Book, “The New One Minute Manager” and Lieutenant General Russel Honore’s book, “Leadership in the New Normal.” He is also planning to acquire his Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification through Syracuse University. Additionally, he participated in coordinating events in Swimming and Track and Field for the Special Olympics of Maryland and worked with Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. on several “feed the homeless” events and clothing drives for battered women and their families. He and his wife Carmela have three children, daughters London and Sasha, and a son, Gabriel.