James E. "Hoss" Cartwright (born September 22, 1949) is a United States Marine Corps General, who serves as the eighth and current Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He previously served as the Commander, U.S. Strategic Command, from September 1, 2004 to August 10, 2007, and as Acting Commander, U.S. Strategic Command from July 9, 2004 to September 1, 2004. He assumed his current assignment on August 31, 2007.
Cartwright, born on September 22, 1949 in Rockford, Illinois, attended West High School and participated in the JROTC program. He then went on to the University of Iowa where he graduated in 1971 with a degree in Pre-medicine.
Cartwright was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps in November 1971. He attended Naval Flight Officer training and graduated in April 1973. He attended Naval Aviator training and graduated in January 1977. He has operational assignments as an Naval Flight Officer in the F-4, and as a pilot in the F-4, OA-4, and F/A-18. His callsign comes from the fictional character Eric 'Hoss' Cartwright, the middle brother on the classic 1960s TV show Bonanza, who was played by actor Dan Blocker.