James S. “Hammer” Hartsell served our Nation as a United States Marine for 37 years progressively providing Tactical, Operational, and Strategic leadership at the Platoon, Company, Battalion, Brigade, Division, and Joint Combatant Command level. He served as an Enlisted Marine in the Reserves from 1981-83, and then was Commissioned as an Officer serving on Active Duty from 1983-1994. He then transitioned to the Reserves where he was mobilized for the following Operations; Iraqi Freedom I – 2003, Iraqi Freedom II – 2004, and Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan – 2009-10. As a General Officer he served as the Deputy Commanding General (Mobilization) I Marine Expeditionary Force and 1st Marine Brigade, as the Commanding General of the 4th Marine Division, and as the Mobilization Assistant to the Commander of the United States Pacific Command where he served as the J5 Strategic Plans & Policy, the Chief of Staff, and as the Director of the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies.
He is a graduate of the Marine Corps Command & Staff College and completed operational & strategic level studies at the Naval War College, Army War College, Air Force War College, Joint Special Operations University, National Defense University, University of Virginia Darden School of Business, and Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government. His personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, and Combat Action Ribbons for combat in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He is also a Marine Corps Distinguished Pistol Shooter.
His civilian career while serving in the Reserves was focused on the Healthcare Industry with U.S. and Global business responsibilities in the Orthopedic Implant Business, in Hospital Administration, and in Healthcare Leadership.
He was born in Polk County FL, and has been a resident of Pasco County for 11 years.