John Edmond Hatley

Date of Birth: July 30, 1968

Marital Status: Divorced, 2011

Civilian Education: Attended Groesbeck HS, GED, 47 Semester hours

At the University of Maryland, maintained a 3.6 GPA

Military Education:
Primarily Leadership Development Course, Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course, Advanced Noncommissioned Officer Course, Ranger School, Airborne School, Air Assault School, Bradley Master Gunner School, Bradley Fighting Vehicle Leaders Course, Senior Instructor Operator Course, Bradley Crew Evaluator, Unit Armor Course, Combat Lifesaver Course, Jungle Operations Training and German Headstart.
IET Fast Track Program, 1st Place 2ID Olympics Half-Marathon, BNCOC Honor Graduate, ANCOC Commandants List, ANCOC Henry Caro Leadership Award, Sergeant Audie Murphy Club Inductee, Recipient of the Order of St. Maurice, Combative Instructor.
Stateside Assignments:
Ft. Campbell, Kentucky; Ft. Hood, Texas
Overseas Deployments/Assignments:
Operation Desert Shield/Storm (Saudi Arabia/Iraq), Operation Joint Forge (Bosnia), Operation Joint Guardian II (Kosovo), Operation Iraqi Freedom II, Operation Iraqi Freedom (2006-2008), Panama, Korea, Germany
Duty Positions Held:
USAG Schweinfurt Housing NCOIC, First Sergeant, 1IDG-3 Training Sergeant Major, Division Master Gunner, Platoon Sergeant, Brigade Master Gunner, Section Leader, Squad Leader, Team Leader, RTO, Machine Gunner, M249 (SAW) Gunner, Armor, Rifleman
Awards and Decorations:
Bronze Star Medal (2), Meritorious Service Medal (2), Valorous Unit Award (2), Meritorious Unit Commendation, Army Commendation Medal for Valor, Army Commendation Medal (3), Army Achievement Medal (7) Ranger Tab, Combat Infantryman Badge (2), Expert Infantryman Bade, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, German Marine Schutzenschnur (Marksmanship) Badge (Gold), Army Service Ribbon, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism service Medal, Southwest Asia Service Ribbon 2/BSS, Saudi Liberation medal (Saudi Arabia), Saudi Liberation Medal (Kuwait), National Defense Service Medal (2), NCO Professional Development Ribbon (3), Korean Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal (6), Overseas Service Ribbon (5), Kosovo Service Medal, NATO Service Medal (2), Overseas Service Bars (5) (Combat Stripes), Marksmanship Badge (expert)
Biographical Narrative:

First Sergeant Hatley joined the military on 26 October 1989 and attended basic training and AIT at Ft. Benning, GA. While attending basic training, he was selected for the IET Fast Track Program based upon his leadership potential. Prior to graduation, he was promoted to PV2.

Upon completion of basic training and AIT he was then further assigned to Ft. Campbell, KY to Alpha Company, 1stBattalion, 187thInfantry Regiment. He deployed on his first combat tour to Iraq in support of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. While there, he progressed through the ranks to SGT and attended the Primary Leadership Development Course. Duty positions he held while assigned to Ft. Campbell include: RTO, Machine Gunner, Armor and Team Leader. In addition, he attended the Air Assault Course, Combat Lifesaver and Jungle Operations Training in Panama. He participated in numerous training events where he was recognized on several occasions for his exceptional performance.

In September, 1993, he reenlisted for a permanent change of station to the Republic of Korea. En route to his next duty station, he attended transitional training at Ft. Benning, GA to reclassify to mechanized infantry. Upon successful completion of this course he was additionally selected to attend the Bradley Fighting Vehicle Leaders Course.

Upon his arrival to Korea, he was assigned to Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 5thInfantry Regiment where he was assigned as a Dismount Squad Leader and a Section Leader.

In January, 1995, he returned to CONUS to Ft. Hood, TX where he was assigned to Alpha Company, 1stBattalion, 5thCavalry Regiment. During his tenure there, he graduated the Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course where he was selected as the Honor Graduate. He also successfully completed the Bradley Fighting Vehicle Master Gunner School. In 1999, he deployed as a Platoon Sergeant to Bosnia in support of Operation Joint Forge. While deployed, in addition to his normal responsibilities, he was also recommended to attend the arduous selection process for induction into the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club. He was selected for induction in the fall of 1999. Upon his return from their unit’s deployment, he was selected for induction in the fall of 1999. Upon his return from their unit’s deployment, he was selected by the Brigade Command Sergeant Major to serve as the Brigade Master Gunner while awaiting attendance to the Advanced Noncommissioned Officers Course. He distinguished himself during attendance to ANCOC in May 2000 and was selected for the Commandant’s List and identified as the recipient of the ANCOC Henry Caro Leadership Award.

1SG Hatley was then placed on a permanent change of station to Schweinfurt, Germany. While en route to Germany, he successfully completed U.S. Army Ranger and Airborne School.

Upon his arrival to Germany, he was assigned as a Platoon Sergeant and served in this position for two years in Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 18thInfantry Regiment. He deployed to Kosovo where his platoon was selected to operate a remote site. After the completion of this deployment, he was selected to serve as the Division Master Gunner and then was further assigned as the Division’s G-3 Training Sergeant’s Major where he deployed the Division Tactical Operations Center to Iraq for Operation Iraq Freedom II. Six months in the deployment, he was offered an assignment back in the 1stBattalion, 18thInfantry as a First Sergeant. He served in this position for almost four years, in which time he had deployed his company again in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (2006-2008) in Baghdad, Iraq.

Prior to his trial, he served approximately 12 months as the USAG Housing NCOIC in Schweinfurt, Germany. On 16 April 2009, 1SG Hatley was court-martialed and found guilty of premeditated murder and conspiracy to commit premeditated murder. He was sentenced to Life In Prison with an opportunity for parole, reduction to E-1 and forfeiture of all pay and allowances. This is despite the lack of any ballistics or forensic evidence that any crime was even committed at all. The conviction was based solely on testimony of a few soldiers that were threatened with prosecution if they didn’t testify and then offered immunity if they did testify.

The Criminal Investigation Division, along with a seven (7) man US Army Diving team conducted an extensive investigation in Iraq and found absolutely no evidence of a crime. Further, the Criminal Investigative Division was unable to confirm that any Iraqi citizens were identified or reported missing. SGT Hatley’s sentenced was reduced from Life to 40 years, which he is currently serving at the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.

recent comments

  • Tony Wysinger

    Free John Hatley TW - Krum, Tx.

  • Medina

    I got to serve under him in bagdad , and he was the greatest nco i have ever met. He truly loved his soldiers. The justice system made a mistake ,and imprisoned a great man and here. All of damage inc. 2plt never forget how he took us in ,and the things he taught us.

  • Clifford Gabriel

    Sara 2 more book will be sent out to Afghanistan to SSG Parker and SFC Fernandez. Thank you for the books, the look in the Soldiers eyes when they turn the pages it brings them back to happy moments in their lives. Thank you again. SSG Gabriel

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