Steve Hamm is a Colonel in the DIA.
At least he had been for most of his twenty-plus years in the military until he angered the wrong people higher up the food chain and found himself working in the Inspector General's office auditing, as he described, coffee cup requisitions. Hamm had achieved his rank thus far through very good and hard work, not through playing the old-boy network game. Had he, a star would have been on his shoulders but he wouldn't have been Hamm.
He certainly would have merited a star based on the numerous sites he has been where he saw action, starting with several tours of duty in Vietnam. From then every hotspot the U.S. had involvement in saw Hamm sent there at some time, especially in Africa. He has the scars to prove it including a long run running under the left side of his jaw where a bullet narrowing missed killing him.
As the series opens, he is pulled back from his "exile" to help on a major case of possible defection. He remains in very good shape for a man who has been holding down a desk for two years though his hair has more than a touch of gray in it showing his nearly 50 years of age. He is still ruggedly build and powerful, standing 6'2" and keeping a musculature 200 lbs. His cold blue gun-metal eyes still stare with the same piercing intensity they always had. And his sharp tongue and determination not to suffer fools silently are as present as ever.
Being needed, he is given one more chance to anger people through his brassy and disrespectful manner. He takes advantage of the chance.