James E. Donnellan

Associate Professor College of Maritime Operational Warfare
Col., U.S. Marine Corps, Retired
James E Donnellan profile photo


Professor Donnellan served for 30 years as a Marine Corps officer with command assignments at the platoon, company, infantry battalion and training installation level. He commanded 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines on combat deployments to both Afghanistan and Iraq. He served as officer in charge, II Marine Expeditionary Force Special Operations Training Group and commanded U.S. Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center. He served as the deputy commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Europe and Africa. His staff assignments included deputy Strategy Division Chief, U.S. Central Command; AC/S G5, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Europe and Africa; and AC/S, C3, Regional Command Southwest, Afghanistan.

Contact Information

Areas of Expertise

  • Afghanistan
  • Amphibious Warfare
  • Arctic
  • COIN
  • Ground Warfare
  • Iraq
  • Joint Operations
  • Leadership
  • Military Planning

Professional Highlights


Commanding Officer, US Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center, Bridgeport CA.

Responsible for 6 Service Level Training Events each year as well as eleven formal school programs of instruction. Doctrinal lead for operations in cold weather and mountainous environments.

US Marine Corps Forces, Europe and Africa, Stuttgart Germany

Assigned initially as Assistant Chief of Staff, G5 (Plans) and then Deputy Commander.

AC/S, G-3 (C-3), II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward)/Regional Command Southwest

Coalition force headquarters for all forces in Helmand and Nimruz Provinces, Afghanistan.

Officer in Charge, II MEF Special Operations Training Group

Responsible for the training program and certification recommendation to the commander for all east coast Marine Corps Expeditionary Units and Special Purpose MAGTFs.

Deputy Chief, Strategy Division, J5, US Central Command

Responsible for development of USCENTCOM Theater Strategy.

US Naval War College

Graduated with Highest Distinction. Recipient of Larkin Award for Academic Excellence by a Marine Corps Officer.

Commanding Officer, 2nd Battalion, 3d Marines, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii

Completed combat deployments to Jalalabad, Afghanistan, and Haditha, Iraq.

1st Battalion, 8th Marines and 2d Marine Division

Served two and 1/2 years as Executive Officer, Battalion Landing Team 1/8, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Iwo Jima ARG). Served as Commander of the Maritime Special Purpose Force. Service ashore in Mosul, Iraq and Liberia (2003). Then served one year as G-3 Training Officer, 2d Marine Division.

1st Battalion, 25th Marines

Inspector-Instructor for Alpha Company, 1/25 based in Topsham, Maine.

2nd Battalion, 1st Marines

Company Commander for H&S Company and Fox Company. Deployed with 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit as the Raid Force Commander for the Maritime Special Purpose Force.


M.A., US Naval War College, 2008 (Highest Distinction)

M.Ed., University of Virginia, 1995

B.S., Boston University, 1988

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