Chief Hanlon is a grizzled old ranger living in the Mojave Wasteland in 2281. He is the commanding officer of the NCR expeditionary force into the Mojave region, stationed at Camp Golf.
Hanlon can often be found sitting on the second floor balcony of the House Resort at Camp Golf. He is possibly one of the oldest human rangers in the Mojave and was instrumental in the defeat of Caesar's Legion at the First Battle of Hoover Dam. Extremely influential among 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, asking for more Rangers to be sent from Baja.
However, the course of the Mojave campaign has made its mark on him - the war against the Legion and the toll it has taken on the men and women in the NCR army as well as his frustration with New Vegas bleeding dry NCR soldiers while at the same time relying on their protection. He also fears for the future of the NCR even if they succeed against the Legion; the sheer scale of the Mojave desert and the Colorado River being too much for an already overstretched NCR to bear. This disillusion drives Hanlon to gradually sow discord among 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 the situation.
Return to Sender: the player finds out that Hanlon is falsifying field reports. Once discovered the player 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 (Only available if you actually killed Caesar) or dying (by following Render Unto Caesar and discovering his illness).
Hanlon is relatively hard to find, so check the balcony first. He will not discuss quest matters except for when he is outside on the Camp Golf balcony. He mans the radio on the balcony from 8AM to 7PM.
If you decide to turn Hanlon in, he will give a brief speech over the intercom then commit suicide. A Ranger will exclaim "That shot came from the Chief's office," run in and guard the body. Hanlon's Ranger Sequoia will be on the ground next to him.
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.
xbox360 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.)