John "Hitman" Hilterman
John “Hitman” Hilterman
Former F/A-18 Fighter Pilot, USN
Hitman, our sales motivational speaker, joined the Afterburner team in 2001 and is our resident expert at equipping organizations with Flawless Execution methodologies. He is one of our most experienced members who has worked globally with over 500 different companies and high-reliability organizations helping them achieve their strategic objectives by creating alignment and closing execution gaps. Hitman’s clients include companies such as GE, Oracle, Boston Scientific, Daiichi Sankyo, 3M, USAA, Deloitte, Schlumberger, National Oilwell Varco, and the NSA, to name a few.
After graduating from Navy flight school with distinction, Hitman flew anti-submarine warfare helicopters for four years and then earned a transition to fly the F/A-18 Hornet winning both the Top Hook and Top Drop awards while in training. He was hand-picked to attend the Naval Post Graduate School of Aviation Safety where he graduated with honors. Under his leadership as Safety Officer, his squadron achieved a zero mishap rate and received numerous safety awards throughout the Pacific fleet. Hitman was also the Operations Officer for the Navy’s only forward-deployed Carrier Air Wing where he directed the daily operations of eight squadrons and managed a $24MM budget. As a seasoned carrier fighter pilot, Hitman has over 4,700 flight hours and 507 carrier landings of which 200 were at night. He was a qualified instructor in every facet of tactical strike warfare, a night vision goggle instructor, and a qualified Carrier Air Wing Strike Leader.
After leaving active duty with the Navy in 2000 to pursue an airline career, Hitman returned to full-time service with the U.S. Air Force following the terrorist attacks of September 11th. While there he was an E-3 AWACS instructor and evaluator pilot as well as the Operations Officer for a 113 member military and civilian squadron responsible for a $45MM budget and a 1,483-acre airfield complex. Hitman’s last tour of duty was as a T-38C instructor pilot providing initial flight training for over 90 student pilots annually in the advanced phases of undergraduate pilot training. He was also selected as the Chief of Wing Inspections where he led a two-year transformation of an underperforming flying training wing earning an “Excellent” rating on one of the Air Force’s major three-year compliance inspections.
Hitman’s depth and breadth of experience helping high reliability, high-risk operations develop a culture of accountability, safety, and leadership both in the service of our nation and our clients have made Hitman one of Afterburner’s most highly sought out and valued business consultants.