Colonel Clay Hutmacher entered military service January 4, 1978, as a private in the U.S. Marine Corps. In May 1984, Hutmacher transferred to the Army after being accepted into the Warrant Officer Flight Training program. After completing flight school, he was assigned as a UH-60 medevac pilot in the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).

Following graduation from Officer Candidate School and the Aviation Officer’s Basic Course, Hutmacher assessed and was accepted for assignment to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Group, where he served as the Headquarters and Service Company executive officer and the MH-60 DAP platoon leader in D Company until May 1991.

Following graduation from the Aviation Officer’s Advanced Course, Hutmacher was assigned as the 160th’s exchange officer to Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field, Fla. There he served as the squadron tactics officer, Instructor Pilot and Flight Commander for the 55th Special Operations Squadron. Hutmacher was then assigned to Flight Concepts Division at Fort Eustis, Va., where he served as a section OIC and operations officer.

In June 2002, Hutmacher returned to 1st Battalion, 160th SOAR(A), where he served as the executive officer until June 2004. Hutmacher commanded 5th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment in Giebelstadt, Germany, from June 2004 to May 2006 and most recently commanded 1st Battalion, 160th SOAR(A) from July 2006 to May 2008. Aircraft ratings include the UH-1, OH-6, AH-6M, UH-60 and MH-60L.

Hutmacher’s awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with one Oak Leaf Cluster (OLC), the Bronze Star with two OLCs, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal with two OLCs, the Meritorious Service Medal with two OLCs, the Air Medal with number 6, the Army Commendation Medal, the Air Force Aerial Achievement Medal with one OLC, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star (BS), the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medals with two BSs, the Southwest Asia Service Medal with BS, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medals, the Iraq and Afghanistan Campaign Medals, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the NATO Medal, the Saudi Arabia and Kuwait Liberation Medals, the Presidential Unit Citation, the Valorous Unit Award and the Joint Meritorious Unit Award. He also wears the Combat Action Badge, the Master Army Aviator Badge, the Pathfinder Badge, the Parachutist Badge and the Air Assault Badge.

Hutmacher was interviewed by SOTECH Editor Jeff McKaughan.

Q: I understand that the regiment is growing. Can you give me some insight into the transformational end state of what the regiment will be when it gets there?

A: The exact end state for the regiment has not been finalized because there is continually increasing demand for special operations aviation. What I can explain is the growth currently authorized and where there is potential for growth in the future.

Our ongoing growth was approved in Force Design Update 05-1, which affects fiscal years 2008-2013. The regiment experienced some of its most significant change in 2008 when it activated 4th Battalion at Fort Lewis, Wash., and reorganized 2nd Battalion at Fort Campbell, Ky., and 3rd Battalion at Hunter Army Airfield in Georgia.