David Hackworth, R.I.P.


The one and only Hack, irrascible soldier's soldier, irrepressible blowhard, "Patton of Vietnam," and permanently off-the-reservation critic of aloof brass, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and a whole lot more, is dead at age 74. Fans of feistiness will miss him sorely. Hack's last column, and his official site (with speculation about Agent Orange/Agent Blue-related causes of his death).

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  1. That’s a loss.
    He’ll be missed. I’m still reading “About Face” at least once a year.
    Wish there were more guys like him.

  2. That’s terribly sad. But it’s comforting somewhat to know that he inspired many young soldiers to value truth and honor over loyalty, and in them he’ll always be present.

  3. Col. Hackworth was what the paper warriors feared most. A real grunt with a brain and the ability to use it. Someone else should step up and take point, now.

    I nominate James Webb, though I don’t believe he started as an enlisted man, which subtracts rather than adds to his resume.

  4. A true loss.

    I’ve been a fan of Hackworth’s for years.

    Gone is a great soldier and a great American. Even the brass who frquently disdained and/or got skewered by him couldn’t doubt his genuine love of the U.S. military and the soldiers & sailors who served.

  5. Hackworth was an embittered retired Colonel who never got over not recieving the stars that he, in his defense, probably deserved. I didn’t always agree with everything he said. I think he was too hard on the modern army and too much of a “in may day we were so much better” kind of guy. That said, he was a great American and a great soldier. Thank God they still make guys like that.

  6. Well, shit.

  7. Though I’ve not always sided with Col Hackworth on everything, he was still a helluva guy by any definition. Looks like St. Peter can take a smoke break now that Hack’s there to help guard the pearly gates.

    I’d sure like to be in town for his funeral at Arlington.

  8. As General Douglas MacArthur said. “Old soliders never die they just fade away” Hack you will be missed.

  9. John, Not 100% sure but I don’t think he was eligible for any rank higher than colonel.

  10. The average soldier, the dog-faces have lost their champion. Hack had a way to see injustices inflicted upon the military by not only the civilian leadership, but its own commissioned leadership as well. He will be sorely missed, but it is a toss up as to whether he would have made more of a difference by sticking it out in uniform or choosing the path he did. Some think his reputation was tarnished by the ADM Boorda incident, but in my opinion, the Admiral had other issues deep down besides his awards to cause him to end it. RIP Hack.

  11. 19 – I totally agree that ADM Boorda’s suicide was not something Hack should have been held accountable for. RIP Sir!

  12. ‘Help Angels, Make Assay
    Hearts with strings of steal, be soft as sinews of the newborn babe.’
    Wish Hack well!

  13. And when he gets to heaven
    To Saint Peter He will tell
    One more soldier reporting sir
    I served my time in Hell

  14. Hack and I corresponded often enough. He can’t be replaced. It would have been a pleasure to have served with him. I’ll miss him greatly.

  15. Hack was one of a kind. I can’t believe he’s gone. I didn’t know he was ill. He was always an interesting interview. When he came on the air I stayed with the show, knowing he would be a great guest. He should’ve had his own show. He was sharp and also a showman. With him you got both. Rest in Peace, Hack. Let’s see how big media handles his passing. I’ll bet they say nothing, just as they did about Joe Foss. They pretended Joe did not exist.

  16. Hackworth lived and spoke with the “bark on”, and he would have acknowledged that he was not a perfect human being. But he was darn near a perfect soldier, and many of his insights over the years were on the money, in my opinion. When I had the pleasure of meeting him at a luncheon several years ago, I felt he still had an admirable focus on the enlisted grunt — and how the system can improve its bang for the buck. RIP, Colonel.

  17. I loved listening to this guy on radio and TV, and now that he has passed I am on a mission to learn more about him. I don’t know why, but when I learned of his death it saddened me greatly. I’ve never read his works, and I’m not ever certain I agree with everything he said. I just have this feeling that a real life hero has left us. Farewell, Hack. All the best to your loved ones.

  18. You could always count on Hackworth to speak his mind and not toe the party line. That alone set him head and shoulders above 99% of the military “experts” you hear on political squawk radio. He will be missed.

  19. David Hackworth would have made a great missionary pioneer with his apostle Paul fervor, passion and vision for pressing forward. May we endeavor to press forward for the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 3:14)

  20. I just started reading Hazardous Duty for the fifth time when I got the idea to look up Hack’s website and found out about his death.

    We need more guys like Hack both in the media and the armed forces.

    Unfortunatly, the Purfumed Princes in Washington have won a great vicotry with his death

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