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Dan Hampton
Fighter Pilot 
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Dan Hampton
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The New York Times bestselling author of Viper Pilot, US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Dan Hampton is one of the most decorated fighter pilots of all time. Throughout his 20-year career, Hampton has always been first in flight, soaring into battle with the Wild Weasels, the elite Air Force squadron whose sole mission is to fly behind enemy lines, draw fire from surface-to-air missiles, and make the skies safer for fellow pilots. His record number of strikes earned him a Purple Heart, four Distinguished Flying Crosses with Valor, and the distinction of being the most lethal F-16 Wild Weasel Pilot in American history. 

Taught to fly at a young age by his father, Hampton climbed up the Air Force ranks. He was named squadron instructor of the year six times, flew 151 combat missions, fought in both Gulf Wars, spearheaded the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and helped secure American airspace on 9/11.

In his bestselling autobiography, Viper Pilot, he recounts his experiences, from earning wings to surviving combat as a Wild Weasel. Booklist wrote in its starred review, "Hampton is a vivid writer and an unabashed warrior...An outstanding work.” 

Since Viper Pilot, Hampton has published two other bestsellers, The Mercenary: A Novel and Lords of the Sky, an epic 100-year history of fighter pilots and aircraft. His 2015 novel The Hunter Killers is based on unprecedented firsthand interviews and previously unseen personal papers and declassified documents.

The many hours in the cockpit taught Hampton that “people will die if I don’t meet my objective.” When flying beyond the speed of sound, he aims to replicate his successes, and when things go wrong, he studies his miscalculation and finds the fix for the next time.

Hampton has offered his expertise on security and counterterrorism as a consultant for the US government and allied governments. A frequent guest on CNNFox News, and MSNBC, he is currently the CEO of MVI International, a private military company. 

One of seven celebrated adventurers to be featured in Breitling Watches "We Are Breitling: The Anthem" video, Hampton has spent time in all corners of the world. Fluent in Arabic, he has climbed the Pyramids, run with the bulls in Pamplona, served as an exchange officer in the Egyptian Air Force, and lived abroad in Europe, Turkey, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. 

Full Bio >
  • Dan Hampton on MSNBC: "Flying behind enemy lines"
  • Hampton on Gulf Wars and surviving as a Wild Weasel
  • MSNBC: Hampton talks about Hamas and Israel
  • Dan Hampton, Viper Pilot (2012)
  • royce carlton speakers rci
    We Are Breitling: The Anthem (2016)
  • CNN: Hampton gives a military perspective on downed Malaysian airliner
  • Huckabee: How can US defeat ISIS? (2014)
  • NBC: Hampton discusses Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash (2014)
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Speaking Topics
Achieving Peak Performance: Lessons from Beyond the Speed of Sound

From the cockpit to the boardroom, optimum performance and successful campaigns require a range of elements, from confidence and the right mindset to proper preparation.

A celebrated fighter pilot and CEO of a private military company who has led elite teams on missions behind enemy lines around the world, Dan Hampton delivers practical lessons about:

  • leadership and decision-making under fire
  • building the best team
  • preparing mentally and physically for big challenges and stressful situations
  • remaining calm and focused when things don’t go your way
  • being adaptive while maintaining total commitment to a mission


Dan Hampton will inspire you and shares insights that could change your life.

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Global Terror and Security Challenges: An Assessment of Risks and Strategies

In this speech, Dan Hampton analyzes security challenges, military conflicts, and terror threats around the world and how to deal with them. Drawing from his experiences in combat and consulting for the US Government on counterterrorism and security, Hampton provides an up-to-date look at the risks and developments that could impact your organization.

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Lords of the Sky: The Past, Present, and Future of Combat Aviation

In less than a century, humans went from Wilbur and Orville Wright to Neil Armstrong, from firing flare guns over trenches in World War One to drones controlled by pilots thousands of miles away.
Dan Hampton delivers a comprehensive and action-packed 100-year history of combat aviation, from World War One to today. From the exhilarating stories of some of aviation’s most legendary warriors, Hampton’s presentation will leave audiences in awe of the technology and the pilots.

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The Middle East and the Road Ahead

When it comes to America’s disharmony with the Middle East, there are no easy answers. Islamophobia, the fear of Islam, Muslims, and their world is roughly akin to the Red Scare of the 1950s and 60s. Islamic witch hunts, like the paranoia surrounding Communism, has created a culture of Us vs. Them in the western world, and it hasn’t helped quell the fires of war overseas.
The Middle East is a world that America doesn’t totally understand and a conflict that Washington can’t resolve. Like Vietnam, the turmoil in the Middle East needs to be solved by those who live there.
In this speech, Dan Hampton looks at the relationship between the Middle East and the rest of the world. He examines the history of the area, the post-Iraq War climate that created ISIS, and the tactical and cultural requirements necessary for stabilization. Dan Hampton spent years in the Middle East, on the ground and in the air, and using his experiences, he delivers an honest analysis Americans won’t find on television.

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Terror: The War of Ideas

Bad Ideas must be fought with good ideas.
Terrorism is a symptom of larger issues. Militarily, insurgents and terror groups can be defeated, but there are no strictly military answers. Without eliminating root causes, there is always another brush fire to fight somewhere else. Dan Hampton discusses the history, culture, and causes behind global terror organizations with personal observations and anecdotes.

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Water: The Next War

It cannot be made synthetically, like oil, and human life vanishes without it. Developing countries are running out of water. Where will they get it in a generation, and what does that mean for the West?

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Books & Other Works
  • The Hunter Killers
  • Viper Pilot: A Memoir of Air Combat
  • Lords of the Sky
  • The Mercenary: A Novel
“Intense. … [Hampton’s] overall writing style is excellent; in particular, his vivid, fast-paced combat narratives. … Will appeal to military history fans or anyone looking for an absorbing read.”
Library Journal on Hunter Killers
“Exciting. … Hampton’s command of the nuances of technology, in addition to his knowledge of the Vietnam War on the ground and in the air, renders this book both informative and moving. A fast-paced Vietnam War story.”
Kirkus on Hunter Killers
“Hampton’s one of the most decorated pilots in Air Force history... we may never see his like again.”
The New York Post
Arab Issues
Common Read
Conflict Resolution
First Year Experience
Foreign Affairs
International Relations
Middle East
National Security
Peak Performance
Private Military Business
Risk Management
Risk Taking
Southeast Asia
Team Building