James "Hammer" Hartsell


James “Hammer” Hartsell became the Director, Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (DKI APCSS) in May 2017. Prior to this, he served as a US Marine for 36 years, both on Active Duty and in the Reserves. He began his career as an Enlisted Marine and after being commissioned in 1983 progressively commanded Units at the Platoon, Company, Battalion and Division levels. He participated in Operation Provide Promise in the Balkans, Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq, and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Upon promotion to Brigadier General in 2010 he was assigned as the Deputy Commanding General, I MEF (Mobilization) and as the Deputy Commander, 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade. From 2012-2014 he served as Commanding General of 4th Marine Division. He is currently assigned in a Joint Flag Officer billet as the Mobilization Assistant to Commander US Pacific Command and from November 2016 to April 2017 was assigned as Interim Director of the Center.

Mr. Hartsell is a graduate of the Amphibious Warfare School, Marine Corps Command & Staff College, Naval War College & National Defense University Courses, NATO Joint Warfare Course, Executive Business Strategic Thinking Course, Combined Force Land Component Commander Course, Joint Force Air Component Commander Course, Combined/Joint Force Special Operations Component Commander Course, Joint Flag Officer Warfighting Course, US-Russia Security Program, CAPSTONE, and the DKI APCSS Transnational Security Cooperation Course.

His awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal with gold star, Army Commendation Medal, Combat Action Ribbon with gold star, and the Distinguished Pistol Badge.

His civilian career has been in the Healthcare Industry where he has served in Marketing, Product Management, US and International Business Development, Hospital Administration, and Healthcare Leadership.

The Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies is a Department of Defense academic institute that addresses regional and global security issues. Military and civilian representatives, most from the U.S. and Asia-Pacific nations, participate in a comprehensive program of executive education, professional exchanges and outreach events, both in Hawaii and throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The Center supports PACOM by developing and sustaining relationships among security practitioners and national security establishments throughout the region. DKI APCSS’ mission is to build capacities and communities of interest by educating, connecting, and empowering security practitioners to advance Asia-Pacific security. It is one of the Department of Defense’s five regional security studies centers.

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