Tamika Hamilton was born in Calvert County, Maryland in 1984. Estranged from her father and born to an underage mother, Tamika was fortunate to be raised by her grandparents who she credits with first instilling in her the importance of public service. Tamika’s grandmother, Geraldine, took on extra work cleaning houses, while her grandfather, Francis, worked two jobs to help provide for Tamika growing up. Tamika says she is so fortunate to have had role models in her life that taught her the importance of hard work and service to her country. Tamika’s grandfather, a Purple Heart recipient for his heroic service in the Vietnam War, was the first to encourage Tamika to serve her country in the military. Within a month of graduating high school Tamika arrived at basic training for the United States Air Force.