“Chief Hanlon is the head of the NCR Rangers and is one of its longest serving members. He coordinates the actions of the rangers from the headquarters at Camp Golf.”— Loading screen
Hanlon can often be found sitting on the second floor balcony of the House Resort at Camp Golf. He is one of the oldest living human rangers in the Mojave, and was instrumental in the defeat of Caesar's Legion at the First Battle of Hoover Dam. Leading much of Joshua Graham's forces to ruin, Hanlon set the NCR's victory in stone by turning Joshua's minimalistic battle tactics against him, in which Joshua was unable to compensate. With most of his veteran forces already annihilated at the hands of both 1st Recon and the NCR Rangers, Joshua Graham and his Legion were quickly defeated at strategic locations on the Hoover Dam, and most of his foot soldiers were routed and killed. Afterwards, the NCR refused to listen to Hanlon's advice to destroy the rest of the Legion within the Mojave while they were weak, but was nevertheless honored as a war hero, and remains one of the most influential men in the NCR.
Highly influential amongst the Rangers with over four decades of experience, Chief Hanlon has been honored many times for his contributions to the NCR. Although he no longer engages in combat operations due to his age, he nevertheless continues to assist the Rangers in their operations. Such is his influence that he even has the ear of the president of the NCR, as seen when asking for more rangers to be sent from Baja. His contributions and influence are seen spread across the Mojave, and those that are wise know not to attract his attention in the wrong way.
However, the course of the Mojave campaign has made its mark on him - the war against the Legion has left its toll on the men and women of the NCR army, and alone with his frustrations born from New Vegas bleeding dry NCR soldiers while at the same time relying on their protection, has left Hanlon fearing for the future of the NCR even should they succeed against the Legion; the sheer scale of the Mojave desert and the Colorado River being too much for an already overstretched NCR conscripted army to bear. This disillusion drives Hanlon to act with ill intentions towards the NCR forces by falsifying intelligence reports and deliberately miscommunicating information sent in from various NCR outposts, ultimately seeking to stir unrest in the NCR forces stationed in the Mojave and hoping to start a resistance against the higher echelons of the NCR military. The Courier can discover Hanlon's plans and subsequently choose how to deal with his actions during the quest Return to Sender.
Return to Sender: It is discovered that Hanlon is falsifying field reports. Once discovered, the Courier can either let Hanlon continue with his plan, turn him in to the NCR authorities, or convince him that falsifying the reports is pointless and Caesar is dead (in the event of Caesar's death) or dying (by discovering his illness during the completion of Render Unto Caesar or receiving some information about it from Silus during Silus Treatment).
Hanlon is typically found on the balcony of the House Resort within Camp Golf, and will not discuss quest matters except for when he is outside on the House Resort balcony. He mans the radio on the balcony from 8AM to 7PM.
If the Courier turns Hanlon in, he will give a brief speech over the intercom before proceeding to commit suicide. A Ranger will exclaim "That shot came from the chief's office," and will run in, guarding the body. Hanlon's Ranger Sequoia will be on the ground next to him, but must be stolen.
The speech is as follows:
“Rangers, this is the Chief. I know I can ramble on sometimes, but I need you to listen close for the next minute or so. I got some bad news. I messed up, made a mistake. I thought I could help us get out of here, but it didn't work out. Rangers get injured all the time, it's part of the job. But if you lose a few fingers, get a bad break, that's it. You step down. We rely on each other too much to let our infirmities become a liability. A ranger knows when it's time. Only I didn't. Somewhere along the way, something broke inside me. I couldn't find us a way out of this desert. I wrestled with it, and it took me down a dark road. I wish I could explain it to you. The old chief's finally at a loss for words. Send me all the Legion you can; I'll be waiting for them.
After the death of Chief Hanlon, the power of NCR's Rangers was broken for years. Their organization, so reliant on the wisdom and guidance of its elder members, became a shadow of what it once was to people across the wasteland.
Defying Chief Hanlon's worst fears, NCR's rangers persevered and distinguished themselves during the Second Battle of Hoover Dam. The rangers, along with NCR's many troopers, shared the glory of victory. Hanlon wisely stayed out of the spotlight, crediting General Oliver's leadership for NCR's success. After a brief fanfare, Hanlon stepped down as chief and returned to the peace and quiet of his ranch outside of Redding.
Don't expose the Chief, complete the endgame quest Eureka! for the NCR.
During the attack on Hoover Dam, Chief Hanlon and his rangers threw themselves into the path of the Legion assault, dying to the last man and woman. In the aftermath that followed in the NCR, bitter citizens and opportunistic senators were quick to denounce President Kimball and General Oliver. Hanlon and his fallen rangers were revered for their bravery and sacrifice.
Despite distinguishing themselves during the Second Battle of Hoover Dam, the rangers' victory was short-lived due to the Courier's interference. Chief Hanlon personally directed the evacuation of the rangers to Mojave Outpost as they fell back into NCR territory. Bitter over the waste of life in the Mojave, Hanlon stepped down from his post. After a campaign in which he denounced Oliver's and Kimball's hawkish, imperialist ways, Hanlon was elected as the senator of Redding.
Although they performed admirably during NCR's defense of Hoover Dam, the rangers fell into decline soon after. With Hanlon's plot against the occupation exposed and Oliver hailed as NCR's new war hero, many rangers were greeted coldly on their return home. Few openly blamed the rangers for Hanlon's treachery, but public and political support for the organization quickly dwindled.
Hanlon commits suicide, complete the endgame quest Eureka! for the NCR.
With Caesar's victory came a small measure of vindication for the rangers' late Chief Hanlon. Upon the military's return, debate raged within NCR's senate about who was to blame for the loss of Hoover Dam. Though some in NCR regarded Hanlon as a traitor, many believed he was the only military commander who saw the futility in defending New Vegas.
Although they performed admirably during NCR's defense of Hoover Dam, the rangers fell into decline soon after. With Hanlon's plot against the occupation exposed and Oliver denounced for losing Hoover Dam, many rangers were greeted coldly on their return home. Few openly blamed the rangers for Hanlon's treachery, but public and political support for the military as a whole quickly dwindled.
Due to the Courier's intervention, Chief Hanlon abandoned his plan to sabotage the defense of Hoover Dam. The rangers assisted the troopers admirably during the Legion's ill-fated attack. Though General Oliver and Chief Hanlon were both praised for their leadership, the chief quietly stepped out of the spotlight. After a brief fanfare for a life full of accomplishments, Chief Hanlon retired and returned to the peace and quiet of his ranch in Redding.
Convince the chief to stop falsifying records, complete the endgame quest Eureka! for the NCR.
Due to the Courier's intervention, Chief Hanlon abandoned his plan to sabotage the defense of Hoover Dam. The rangers heroically assisted NCR's troopers in their ill-fated defense against the overwhelming power of Caesar's Legion. Though many NCR military officers fled the territory soon after the dam was lost, Chief Hanlon remained at Camp Golf to surrender to the Legion. Out of respect for Hanlon's composure and worth as an adversary, Caesar had him beheaded.
Due to the Courier's intervention, Chief Hanlon abandoned his plan to sabotage the defense of Hoover Dam. The rangers heroically assisted NCR's troopers in their ill-fated defense against the overwhelming power of Caesar's Legion. Though many NCR military officers fled the territory soon after the dam was lost, Chief Hanlon remained at Camp Golf to surrender to the Legion. Despite the late Caesar's respect for Chief Hanlon as an adversary, Legate Lanius had Hanlon crucified along with all of the other rangers.
Due to the Courier's intervention, Chief Hanlon abandoned his plan to sabotage the defense of Hoover Dam. The rangers assisted the troopers admirably during the Legion's ill-fated attack. Though the Courier snatched victory from NCR, only General Oliver was blamed for the loss of Hoover Dam. Hanlon, exhausted after¹ a lifetime of service to the NCR, stepped down from his position in the rangers and retired to his ranch in Redding.
PCPlaystation 3Xbox 360 Hanlon sometimes glitches and stops talking during his speech. The quest should go on as normal and he will shoot himself 20–30 seconds after he stops talking. This will happen even if you have your Pip-Boy up or if you've paused the game completely, and when you resume, the rangers will react accordingly. (You can still hear his speech in full by going to Data → Misc and playing the audio.)[verified]
PCPlaystation 3Xbox 360 Even if the player convinces the chief to stop falsifying the reports, they will still get ending 2 (siding with the NCR) or ending 4 (siding with Mr. House or Yes Man) instead of endings 8 or 11, respectively. [verified]