Marine Corps Biographies: Brigadier General James S. Hartsell

Carl | October 7, 2013 

Commanding General, 4th Marine Division

Brigadier General Hartsell began his Marine Corps career in 1981 as an Enlisted Marine. Upon completion of Recruit training he was assigned to 3rd Force Reconnaissance Company, Mobile AL. He graduated from University of South Alabama and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in 1983. After completing The Basic School and Infantry Officer Course he was assigned to 2nd Battalion 3rd Marines in Kaneohe Bay HI where from 1984-1987 he served as a Rifle Platoon Commander, Anti-Armor Platoon Commander, and Rifle and Weapons Company Executive Officer.

From 1987-1990 he served as a Series Commander and recruit Company Commander at MCRD Parris Island SC. In 1989 he was assigned as the OIC of the Parris Island Shooting Team and in 1990 joined the Marine Corps Pistol Team in Quantico VA and earned his Distinguished Pistol Badge. From 1990-1991 he attended Amphibious Warfare School in Quantico VA. Upon graduation he was assigned to 1st Battalion 6th Marines in Camp Lejeune NC as a Company Commander and participated in Operation Provide Promise as part of 22 MEU (SOC). In 1993 he was assigned to II MEF Special Operations Training Group Amphibious Raids Branch.

In 1994 he transferred to the Marine Corps Reserve and joined 3rd Battalion 23d Marines where he served as a Rifle Company Commander. From 1998-2000 he served as the Battalion S3A and then Operations Officer. In 2001 he was assigned as the Commanding Officer of 4th Reconnaissance Battalion in San Antonio TX and was activated from March 2003 – August 2003 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom I and took on the additional role of Battalion Inspector-Instructor.

In 2004 he was mobilized in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II and served as the 1st Marine Division Senior Liaison Officer to I Marine Expeditionary Force in Al-Anbar Iraq. From 2005-2007 he served as a Member and then OIC of the 4th Marine Division Forward – West in Camp Pendleton CA.

From 2008-2010 he was assigned as the II MEF Command Element IMA Chief of Staff in Camp Lejeune NC and in 2009 deployed to Afghanistan as the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade Senior Liaison Officer to the NATO Regional Command – South in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Upon promotion to his present rank in 2010 he was assigned as the Deputy Commanding General, I MEF (Mobilization) and in Sept 2012 he assumed command of the 4th Marine Division.

BGen Hartsell is a graduate of the Amphibious Warfare School, Marine Corps Command & Staff College, Naval War College Strategy & Policy Course and Joint Military Officer Course, National Defense University National Security Course, NATO Joint Warfare Course, Executive Business Strategic Thinking Course, Combined/Joint Force Land Component Commander Course, the Joint Force Air Component Commander Course and CAPSTONE.

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.

BGen Hartsell’s civilian career has been in the Healthcare Industry where he has served in Marketing, Product Management, Business Development, Hospital Administration, and is currently serving in a Group Operations role with Health Management Associates of Naples FL.

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