Robert Hamilton, U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command SharePoint Team Leader, works from home, April 23, as the Army maximizes teleworking and other social distancing practices to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Robert Hamilton, U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command SharePoint Team Leader, works from home, April 23, as the Army maximizes teleworking and other social distancing practices to help stop the spread of COVID-19. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Every time U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command Soldiers and civilians launch the Command Information Portal, Robert Hamilton’s team is there.

Does an equipment manufacturer you’re working with need to upload their drawings to the Classified Engineering Data Repository? Hamilton is there, as well.

Want to add or update an event on AMCOM’s new Master Activities Calendar, need to reserve a government vehicle, looking for the latest COIVD-19 information? You guessed it – he’s there.

As SharePoint team leader in AMCOM’s Information Management and Technology Office (G-6), Hamilton’s expertise with the web-based collaborative platform and writing software code has helped shape the way AMCOM SharePoint users share and receive information, collaborate and streamline internal processes.

“Robert possesses a very unique skill set that allows him to create functionality in SharePoint that would be difficult for most people to replicate,” said Stacie Clemmons, Hamilton’s supervisor. “He has a knack for making SharePoint accommodate things. He’s well known among his colleagues and customers as a problem-solver and consistently demonstrates his passion to support the Soldier in achieving the mission and goals of the organization.”

“I love a good challenge,” Hamilton declared. “And, I work with a great team. So, when customers ask for something new on SharePoint, we do whatever we can to deliver it – or something like what they had envisioned.”

Many requests have unique requirements that can be labor intensive, he explained.

“I often find myself saying to customers – the software’s not designed to do that, but I’ll do my best,” he said with a chuckle. “Customer expectations are usually based on the Microsoft Office programs they’re used to working with. They just don’t know what SharePoint can do. Sometimes, the solution isn’t what they had imagined, and they end up liking it even better.”

More than 40 years’ experience working in the government information technology career field helps, he explained. Developing collaborative relationships with other government IT specialists and commercial software vendors during his various assignments in the United States and around the world, he’s formed a virtual network of collaborative problem-solvers he can tap into. And, Hamilton willingly shares his expertise with other IT specialists.

“Robert is an exceptional team leader who is a mentor to everyone on his team,” said Clemmons. “He is eager to share his technical and government knowledge which he has acquired from decades of government service.”

“We all have the same goal of providing our customers – Soldiers and civilians – with the solutions they need to better support the warfighter,” said Hamilton.

Sometimes, unexpected situations need a speedy IT solution, and Hamilton and his team were able to deliver.

Recently, AMCOM leaders identified a need for a platform on which to share the flurry of COVID-19 information. They reached out to Hamilton’s SharePoint team for a solution. The team delivered.

“I started it, and the team had everything up and running within 48 hours,” Hamilton said.

AMCOM’s new COVID-19 page on the Command Information Portal includes situation updates from Maj. Gen. Todd Royer, AMCOM commanding general, a resource library categorizing AMCOM COVID-19 related information announcements, hyperlinks to national and local coronavirus information sources, and more.

Adaptability appears to be the cornerstone of Hamilton’s federal service career, which began in 1976.

“I was working in a field near Pocahontas, Arkansas, building a rock wall when my grandfather walked up and said, ‘Boy, when are you going to join the Army?’

“I said, ’I’m not joining the Army.’

“And, he said, ‘Boy, you didn’t understand my question, did you?’

“I was in the Army three days later.”

His first 13 years in uniform were spent serving as a nuclear missile mission crewman for the Pershing missile system. His introduction to working with computers started there – programming ones and zeros for the geospatial tracking and guidance system.

“Things were a lot different then. We had to climb up into a truck and go inside the computer – there was a space big enough for one person to be in there and load the programming reel-tapes,” he recalled. “I remember when we got 12-inch laser disks and were transferring programming data to giant 8-track-style cassettes in the mid-1980s,” he added. “We got a little more room inside the metal computer box with that equipment upgrade.”

When many nuclear-based missile systems were phased out as part of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty during the mid-1980s, Hamilton became an Army recruiter, then reclassified in 1989 as a programmer-analyst.

After 20 years and one day of service, Hamilton retired from the Army and began working as a government contractor. In 2000, he accepted a federal civilian position with the U.S. Navy. Then, in 2008, he took a moved to a position with the U.S. Army working with the U.S. European Command, supporting Soldiers’ IT needs all over the world. At the time, SharePoint was fast becoming the Army’s collaboration software of choice, and Hamilton quickly became a resident expert.