CPT John David Hortman, US Army, was a native of Inman, SC, born May 6, 1981. He was a 1999 graduate of Byrnes High School in Spartanburg, where he served as student body president. Hortman attended Palmetto Boys State at Wofford College in 1998, where he was elected to the office of Lt. Governor. He returned as a Jr. Counselor, was later selected Sr. Counselor of the Year in 2003, and elevated to staff level where he served until his untimely passing.
Hortman graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a degree in History in May 2004. Upon completion of Initial Entry Rotary Wing Training, Hortman was assigned to Fort Drum, NY, where he served in multiple positions including scout platoon leader and company commander. Following his assignment to Fort Drum, Hortman attended the Aviation Captain’s Career Course at Fort Rucker, AL. After a successful assessment in 2010, Hortman was assigned to 1st Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) at Fort Campbell, KY, as an AH-6M special operations light attack helicopter platoon leader.
He was a combat veteran with three deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
His military training included the Initial Entry Rotary Wing Training, Aviation Officer Basic Course, OH-58D Aircraft Qualification Course, US Army Airborne School, U.S. Army Ranger School, Modern Army Combatives Level 1, Aviation Captain’s Course, Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Course, and 160th SOAR (A) AH-6M Officer Green Platoon.
Hortman’s awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Meritorious Service Medal (Posthumous) National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Army Aviator Badge, Combat Action Badge, Parachutist Badge, and the Ranger Tab.
Hortman and Chief Warrant Officer 3 Steven B. Redd died August 8th, 2011, when their AH-6M Little Bird helicopter experienced engine failure and crashed on a training mission at Ft. Benning, GA.
Hortman’s remarkable humility, sense of humor and magnetic personality will be especially missed amongst the staff of Boys State. His smile alone could illuminate a whole room.
Hortman is survived by his mother, Brenda Jones, of Inman, SC and stepfather Ken; his sister, Jill Morris, of Colorado Springs, CO and brother in law Mark; beloved niece Makenna Morris; his brother, Andy Pierce, of Overland Park, KS. David will be remembered by hundreds of current and former Boys Staters, U.S. Army service men and women, extended family and friends.