Mr. Noel Hike
Noel Hike works as the Veterans Affairs/Department of Defense Liaison for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Office of Outreach, Transition and Economic Development
(OTED), assigned at United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), MacDill AFB, Tampa, FL. In this capacity he provides support to the United States Special Operations Command Warrior Care Program (WCP-Care Coalition) for Special Operations Forces (SOF) wounded, ill, injured, and survivors. His outreach encompasses all VA benefits and services to active duty and Veteran SOF warriors and their families. He also maintains inter-agency collaboration with Department of Defense organizations and several other federal agencies.
The Care Coalition is one of four recognized Department of Defense Warrior Care programs established to fill in the gaps in care for special operators. The coalition is primarily focused on advocacy for service members in the force after they’ve had a wound, illness or injury. As part of the coalition, Noel is a key advocate for SOF members, helping them to navigate through recovery, rehabilitation, and reintegration as quickly as possible, strengthening SOF readiness. He coordinates, supports, and facilitates client centered outreach and direct services to ensure this critical community understands and has access to benefits gained as a result of service to the Nation. He provides important information on benefits and services not only to SOF warriors, but to their families and survivors.
In January of 2007, Noel began his VA career with the Veterans Benefits Administration, assigned as a Veterans Service Representative at the St. Petersburg Florida VA Regional Office where he was responsible for the processing of claims and adjudication. Later, he was placed on the OEF/OIF team specifically focusing upon the nation’s newest warriors. In 2009, per collaboration with the Secretary of the VA, the Chairman of the Joints Chief of Staff, and the USSOCOM Commander, Noel was transferred to Care Coalition where he started and implemented the processes, procedures, and regulations as the VA/DOD Liaison which included the research and request to declassify records to substantiate a Veterans claim. In 2013 Noel took a leadership position with the Special Operations Warrior Foundation focusing upon educational opportunities and support for SOF surviving children. He returned to the VA as the VA/DOD Liaison to United States Special Operations Command in May of 2016.
Noel served on Active Duty enlisting in the Army in 1982 where he served with the Florida Army National Guard. He was deployed to Panama during the 1980’s and attended Jungle Expert School. He later served with United States Central Command during the initial stages of Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom. Noel’s final deployment was in Afghanistan with Task Force Phoenix IV, returning on July 4, 2006. Noel retired in 2007 with close to 25 years of honorable service at the rank of First Sergeant.
Noel has completed several Leadership Development Programs and is a graduate of the University of South Florida with a degree in History. He later completed his Master’s Degree at Troy State University with a major in Public Administration.
Mr. Hike is a native of Alabama. He and his wife reside in Riverview, Florida.