Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
David H. Hackworth
David H. Hackworth known affectionately as "Hack", is perhaps one of the most prominent contemporary military journalists writing about the United States armed forces. He is a retired United States Army colonel.
Early Life & Entrance into the Military
Hackworth suffered a rough childhood, and ran off to join the U.S. Merchant Marine at age 14, towards the end of World War II. After the war, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, and was assigned occupation duty in Trieste. The start of the Korean War found him a sergeant; Hackworth volunteered for duty in Korea.
In Korea, Hackworth fought with the 25th Infantry Division, winning not only a battlefield commission as a lieutenant, but also medals for valor, and multiple Purple Hearts. He subsequently volunteered for a second tour in Korea, serving with the 40th Infantry Division.
Demobilized after the cease-fire in Korea, Hackworth quickly became bored with civilian life. Hackworth managed to get back into the expanding "Cold War" model U.S. Army, which had changed substantially from the army he grew up in. He was a battalion commander in the 101st Airborne Division when it was sent to Vietnam in 1965.
A tour in Vietnam, followed by staff duty at The Pentagon soured Hackworth on the Vietnam War. Even so, he refused to resign, feeling it was his duty as a field grade officer to wage the campaign as best he could.
Hackworth was assigned to a training battalion, then returned to Vietnam to lead elements of the 9th Infantry Division . He then served as a sernior military advisor to the South Vietnamese. His view that the U.S. Army was not learning from its mistakes, and that South Vietnamese ARVN officers were essentially corrupt, created friction with Army leadership. Hackworth's disgruntlement ultimately culminated in a television interview with the ABC program Issues and Answers in 1970.
The interview enraged senior U.S. Army officers at the Pentagon, and Hackworth found himself ostracized in the defense establishment. A the same time, he was experiencing personal problems that culminated in divorce. Hackworth soon retired at the rank of colonel. In an effort to rebuild his life, Hackworth moved to Australia.
Hackworth the Journalist
Hackworth returned to the U.S. in the mid-1980s, and now makes regular television appearances to discuss various military-related topics. His commentary on the psychological effects of post-traumatic stress disorder as an experience of combat, based on his own experiences of overcoming the disease, resonates with disabled veterans.
In the mid 1990s, he was interviewed Admiral Michael Boorda, then Chief of Naval Operations, before Boorda committed sucide. The interview topic was about Admiral Boorda wearing unauthorized V (Valor) devices on his ribbons. Later, CBS had a similar report about Hackworth wearing unauthorized decorations. Hackworth responded with an U.S.Army audit confirming his medals, and CBS admitted to an error in reporting.
His column "Defending America" is distributed by King Features Syndicate.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details