Lieutenant Colonel James A. Hanley II is a native of Houston, TX. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps in 1996. After completing The Basic School in 1997, Second Lieutenant Hanley began flight school in Pensacola, FL and was designated a Naval Flight Officer in 1998.
First Lieutenant Hanley was assigned FA-18 training with the VMFAT-101 “Sharpshooters” at MCAS Miramar, CA. After completing training in the F/A-18, First Lieutenant Hanley was assigned to the “Bats” of VMFA (AW)-242 in 1999 and completed two deployments to the Western Pacific at Iwakuni Air Base, Japan. During this tour he graduated from TOPGUN and USMC Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course (WTI) and was designated an Air Combat Tactics Instructor, Forward Air Controller (Airborne) Instructor and Tactical Air Controller (Airborne) Instructor while holding billets of Logistics Officer, Assistant Airframes Officer and Training Officer.
In 2003, Captain Hanley was assigned as a Forward Air Controller with 1st ANGLICO in Camp Pendleton, CA where he served as a Firepower Control Team (FCT) Leader. In April 2004, Captain Hanley deployed to Camp Fallujah, Iraq where his team provided security for the IMEF Commanding General. During this deployment, he also served as the Aide de Camp for the IMEF Commanding General, General Conway. Upon returning from deployment in November 2004, Captain Hanley was assigned Supporting Arms Liaison Team OIC.
In 2005, Maj Hanley was assigned as a FA-18 Instructor at Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One in Yuma, AZ. While at MAWTS-1, Maj Hanley instructed six WTI classes where he taught laser guided bombs, FAC(A)I, TAC(A)I, and bombs, fins and fuzes, and supported the class during both flight events and as a Forward Air Controller. Additionally, Maj Hanley deployed twice to Al Asad, Iraq in support of VMFA (AW)-121 and VMFA-(AW)-225.
In 2008, Major Hanley entered the Selected Marine Corps Reserve and was assigned as an aviation planner at the MAGTF Staff Training Program (MSTP) IMA Detachment where he supported MEF and MEB level training exercises. In 2010, Lieutenant Colonel Hanley was assigned as the OIC of the NAS Patuxent River Marine Air Detachment IMA Detachment where he supported the FA-18 Weaponeering and Stores Planning (WASP) program as a systems engineer and aviation subject matter expert.
Lieutenant Colonel Hanley’s personal decorations include the Air Medal gold with Strike/Flight bronze numeral 1, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with gold star in lieu of second award, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and the Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal.