First African American Arkansas National Guard 61st Civil Support Team Commander

Colonel (COL) Marcus R. Hatley:

COL Hatley was born in Prescott, Arkansas. He is a 1979 graduate of Gurdon High School. COL Hatley received Bachelor’s Degrees from the University of Arkansas Dale Bumpers School of Agriculture and Excelsior College. He also received a Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.

COL Hatley received his commission as a Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army Chemical Corps in 1985 at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. He served continuously in various staff and command assignments culminating as the Arkansas National Guard Counterdrug Program Coordinator from June 2011 until May 2015. In 2011, COL Hatley became the First African American in the Arkansas National Guard to serve as the Counterdrug Program Coordinator. On June 5, 2000, COL Hatley was assigned as Deputy Commander of the 61st Civil Support Detachment, Arkansas National Guard. On May 1, 2005, COL Hatley was appointed as Commander of the 61st Civil Support Detachment, Arkansas National Guard. COL Hatley was the First African American in the Arkansas National Guard assigned to this position. On October 14, 2009, he served as Deputy J3, Arkansas National Guard.

COL Hatley’s other assignments included but not limited to Cannon Crew Chief, Battalion CBRN NCO, Brigade Chemical Officer, 142nd Field Artillery Brigade during Operation Desert Storm Desert Shield; Service Battery Commander 2/142nd Field Artillery Battalion; Mobilization Officer, Arkansas Army National Guard; Executive Officer 87th Troop Command.

On November 15, 2015, COL Hatley reverted to an enlisted soldier to continue his military career as a Cannon Crew Chief, HHB 142nd FA BDE and later transferred to the 436th Chemical Company, Texas National Guard and deployed to the Horn of Africa with 1/141st Infantry Regiment, San Antonio Texas. COL Hatley retired November 19, 2019, after serving more than 34 years in the National Guard.

COL Hatley’s certifications include but not limited to Criminal Analyst, HAZMAT Technician First Responder, OSHA Confined Space, OSHA Environmental Sampling, Installation Emergency Manager, FEMA Advanced Incident Command and General Staff, Joint Substance Abuse Prevention.

His military education includes the Army War College, Command and General Staff Course, Combined Arms Services Staff Course CAS3, Field Artillery Officer’s Advanced Course, Chemical Officer’s Basic Course, Defense Nuclear Weapons Course, Technical Escort Course, CBRN Joint Senior Leaders Course, CBRN Installation Emergency Management Course, CBRN Advanced Leaders Course.

COL Hatley received several medals and awards. Some of his decorations include Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Ribbon, Armed Forces Service Medal, National Defense Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, Saudi Medal, Liberation of Kuwait Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Medal.

COL Hatley worked as the Senior Representative for Military and Veteran Affairs Office of the Arkansas Attorney General from April 2015 to April 2016 and August 2019 to December 2022. While serving in this position, he coordinated with local, County, State, and Federal partners to advocate on behalf of Active Military, Guardsmen, Veterans, and their families.

He is a Master Mason, St. Johns Lodge 329, State of Arkansas, active member and Past Vice Polemarch Little Rock, Alumni, Kappa Alpha Psi; a member of American Legion Post 74 and a VFW Life member.