LtCol Jay Hanson entered the United States Marine Corps in 2002 after graduating from the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in History. Following completion of The Basic School in December of 2002, he reported to NAS Pensacola for flight training. While in flight training, he was selected to the Training Wing FIVE Commodore’s List and reported to NAS Meridian for training in the T-45C Goshawk. Upon completion of flight school and after earning his Wings of Gold, he reported to MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina for fleet replacement pilot training in the AV-8B Harrier.
Once he completed training at Marine Attack Training Squadron 203, he reported to the “Nightmares” of Marine Attack Squadron 513 aboard MCAS Yuma, Arizona. During his time with the “Nightmares”, he served as the Squadron Communications Officer, Schedules Officer, Future Operations Officer, Pilot Training Officer, and finally as the Squadron Weapons and Tactics Instructor. In the summer of 2007, he served aboard HMS ILLUSTRIOUS during Operation BOLD STEP, flying sorties alongside Royal Navy shipping and aircraft. He also deployed twice; once in 2007-2008 in support of the Unit Deployment Program and 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) 07-02 in Okinawa, Japan, and again in 2009-2010 in support of the 11th MEU 09-02 with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 166 (REIN) aboard the USS BONHOMME RICHARD, where he flew combat sorties in support of the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT).
In the summer of 2010 LtCol Hanson entered Expeditionary Warfare School (EWS) in Quantico, Virginia, and graduated in the summer of 2011. While at EWS, he was selected to represent the Marine Corps in Spain in the Personnel Exchange Program and reported for training at the Defense Language Institute - Presidio of Monterey for Spanish Language Training in June of 2011. LtCol Hanson graduated with Honors and reported to the Novena Escuadrilla (9th Squadron), Flotilla de Aeronaves in Rota, Spain. While serving with the 9a Escuadrilla, he served as the Current Operations Officer, Future Operations Officer, Pilot Training Officer, and Tactics Officer. He completed multiple at-sea deployments aboard JUAN CARLOS I, the flagship of the Spanish Armada, and returned back to the United States in the summer of 2014 and reported to the Marine Corps Command and Staff College in Quantico, VA.
Upon completion of Command and Staff College, he was awarded a Master’s degree in Military Studies and reported back to MCAS Yuma to serve as the Operations Officer of the “Wake Island Avengers” of Marine Attack Squadron 211. He was one of the last AV-8B Harrier pilots of VMA-211 as the squadron transitioned to the F-35B Lightning II, and subsequently reported to the “Tomcats” of Marine Attack Squadron 311, where he assumed the duties of the Squadron Director of Safety and Standardization and 11th MEU Detachment Officer in Charge. He deployed in October of 2016 with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 163 (REIN) in support of the 11th MEU and flew combat sorties in support of the GWOT, returning back to Yuma in May of 2017. Once he returned to Yuma he assumed the duties of the Marine Aircraft Group 13 Operations Officer. He departed Yuma in June of 2019 and reported to Marine Aviation Training Support Group 22 later that month. He is currently serving as the Executive Officer of MATSG-22.
LtCol Hanson has accumulated nearly 2000 hours in tactical jet, multi-engine turboprop, and turboprop aircraft. He is a designated Weapons and Tactics Instructor and a V/STOL Training Landing Signal Officer along with multiple other flight leadership and instructor qualifications. His personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Individual Action Air Medal, Navy Commendation Medal with Gold Star in lieu of second award, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various other unit and campaign awards.