James "Hammer" Hartsell


James “Hammer” Hartsell became the Director, Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in May 2017.  He has served as a US Marine for 36 years beginning his career as an Enlisted Marine and then after being commissioned in 1983 progressively led Units at the Platoon, Company, Battalion, Brigade, and Division levels providing Tactical, Operational, and Strategic leadership.  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).  From 2012-2014 he served as Commanding General of 4th Marine Division.  He is currently assigned in a Joint Flag Officer billet at US Pacific Command where he has served as Chief of Staff, J5 Strategic Planning & Policy, and Mobilization Assistant to the Commander. From November 2016 to April 2017 he 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, Land Component Commander Course, Air Component Commander Course, Special Operations Component Commander Course, Joint Flag Officer Warfighting Course, US-Russia Security Program, CCL Leadership at the Peak, CAPSTONE, and the Center’s 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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