"Hack", as he was affectionately known, was an outspoken critic of military policy that needlessly put America's young warriors in harm's way. He criticized every administration's policies, everything from the table of organization to weapons and equipment.
He lied about his age in order to join the Merchant Marines during WW2, he was 14 years old .
At 15 he joined the US Army as a enlisted man and served at the end of WW2 until his retirement 26 years later.
He received a battlefied commission in Korea and became that war's youngest Army Captain.
After almost five years in Vietnam Hack's cup runneth over. In 1971, as the Army's youngest colonel he spoke out on national television saying, "This is a bad war ... it can't be won we need to get out." In that interview, he also said that the North Vietnamese flag would fly over Saigon in four years -- a prediction that turned out to be right on target. He was the only senior officer to sound off about the insanity of the war. Understandably, Nixon and the Army weren't real happy with his shooting off his mouth.
Hack, was all about his troops and his troops were every ground pounder, sailor and fly boy that served this country. He was all about the troops!
AWARDS & DECORATIONS
COLONEL DAVID H. HACKWORTH
(U.S. ARMY, RETIRED)
Individual Decorations & Service Medals:
* Distinguished Service Cross (with one Oak Leaf Cluster)
* Silver Star (with nine Oak Leaf Clusters)
* Legion of Merit (with three Oak Leaf Clusters)
* Distinguished Flying Cross
* Bronze Star Medal (with "V" Device & seven Oak Leaf Clusters)(Seven of the awards for heroism)
* Purple Heart (with seven Oak Leaf Clusters)
* Air Medal (with "V" Device & Numeral 34)(One for heroism and 33 for aerial achievement)
* Army Commendation Medal (w/ "V" Device & 3 Oak Leaf Clusters)
* Good Conduct Medal
* World War II Victory Medal
* Army of Occupation Medal (with Germany and Japan Clasps)
* National Defense Service Medal (with one Bronze Service Star)
* Korean Service Medal (with Service Stars for eight campaigns)
* Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
* Vietnam Service Medal (2 Silver Service Stars = 10 campaigns)
* Armed Forces Reserve Medal
* Presidential Unit Citation
* Valorous Unit Award (with one Oak Leaf Cluster)
* Meritorious Unit Commendation
Badges & Tabs:
* Combat Infantryman Badge (w/ one Star; representing 2 awards)
* Master Parachutist Badge
* Army General Staff Identification Badge
* United Nations Service Medal (Korea)
* Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device (1960)
* Vietnam Cross of Gallantry (with two Gold Stars)
* Vietnam Cross of Gallantry (with two Silver Stars)
* Vietnam Armed Forces Honor Medal (1st Class)
* Vietnam Staff Service Medal (1st Class)
* Vietnam Army Distinguished Service Order, 2d Class
* Vietnam Parachutist Badge (Master Level)
* Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
* Republic of Vietnam Presidential Unit Citation
* Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation (with three Palm oak leaf clusters)
* Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Honor Medal, First Class Unit Citation (with one Palm oak leaf cluster)
World War II Merchant Marine Awards:
* Pacific War Zone Bar
* Victory Medal
Hack is an advocate of military reform and a believer that the big fire power -- "nuke-the-pukes" -- solution won't work anymore, but that doesn't mean war will go away. He sees big and little fights ahead and urges military reform. He believes passionately that "America needs a streamlined, hard hitting force for the 21st century" and beyond. Hack brings to his mission his unique experience acquired in almost 52 years of bouncing around hot and cold battlefields. He also brings an insider's view of the Pentagon and the military establishment made deadly current by input provided on a daily basis by serving warriors from around the globe. E-mail frequently brings him the word before the Pentagon gets it.
He was a frequent talk show guest and I have listened to him many times.
His books include "About Face: The Odyssey of an American Warrior", "Hazardous Duty", "The Price of Honor" and "Steel My Soldiers' Hearts", which is still in the book stores.
A man could do far worse with his life than to emulate David Hackworth.
Rest in peace, Hack, we will watch over your Troops.