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Judge Advocate Division


Judge Advocate Division

Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps

Colonel John M. Hackel Deputy Director, Judge Advocate Division 3


Colonel Hackel was born in Orange, CA, and grew up in San Jose, CA. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1994 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps. Upon completion of the The Basic School and the Infantry Officers’ Course, Quantico, VA, in 1995, then-2ndLt Hackel became a platoon commander in Delta Company, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, CA. After completing WESTPAC deployments with the 11th and 15th Marine Expeditionary Units in 1996-97 and 1998, respectively, then-Captain Hackel was assigned to serve as a Staff Platoon Commander and Primary Instructor at The Basic School, Quantico, VA, from 1999-2001.

While serving in Quantico, Captain Hackel was selected for the Excess Leave Law Education Program. In August 2001, he began his legal studies at the College of William & Mary School of Law in Williamsburg, VA. After graduating in May 2004, then-Major Hackel passed the California Bar exam, graduated from the Naval Justice School Basic Officer Course, and was sworn in as a California attorney.

From 2004 to 2007, Major Hackel served as a Civil Law Officer, Special Assistant United States Attorney, and Senior Defense Counsel at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, San Diego, CA. From 2007 to 2008, he earned a master’s degree in military law and graduated as a member of the 56th Graduate Course from The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School, Charlottesville, VA.

From 2008 to 2010, Major Hackel served as the Staff Judge Advocate for 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, completing a deployment in 2010. Then-Lieutenant Colonel Hackel served from 2010 to 2013 as an Assistant SJA at USSOUTHCOM, Doral, FL, where he managed the migrant operations, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief (HA/DR), special operations, intelligence, and detainee operations portfolios. 

In 2013 LtCol Hackel served as the SJA for 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Okinawa, Japan. In April 2015 he became the Joint Task Force 505 SJA in support of HA/DR Operation Sahayogi Haat, Nepal, in support of earthquake relief and recovery efforts. He then served as the III Marine Expeditionary Force SJA until 2016.

From 2016 to 2018, Colonel Hackel served as the SJA for U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command, Tampa, FL, during which he supported Marine forces serving in a number of missions in the CENTCOM AOR, including Operation Inherent Resolve, Resolute Support Mission, and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

In July 2018 Colonel Hackel assumed his current duties as the Deputy Director for Military Justice and Community Development, Judge Advocate Division, Headquarters Marine Corps.

Colonel Hackel lives in the National Capitol Region with his wife, Cristin, and their boys Nathan, 14, and Davis, 12.