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Home > Author > David H. Hackworth
David H. Hackworth

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This is a bad war ... it can't be won we need to get out

Background Information

Hack's military career as a sailor, soldier and a military correspondent has spanned nearly a dozen wars and conflicts, from the end of World War II to the recent meltdown in the ex-Yugoslavia.

He enlisted in the merchant marine at age 14 and the U.S. Army at 15. In almost 26 years in the Army he spent over seven years in combat theaters, winning a battlefield commission in Korea to become 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.

With all his many awards, Hack still considers the Combat Infantryman Badge and the United Nations Medal for Peace -- which he was presented for his anti-nuclear work in Australia -- his "highest awards."

Hack is a regular guest on national radio and TV shows, and from 1990 to the end of 1996, he was Newsweek's contributing editor for defense. Besides his Newsweek cover stories and other reporting, he has been featured in magazines including People, Parade, Men's Journal, and has also been published in Playboy, Soldier of Fortune, Self and Modern Maturity. His column, Defending America, appears weekly in newspapers across America and on email by subscribing on the Defending America page (linked below).

During Desert Storm which Hack covered for Newsweek, he was the only correspondent to accurately predict the outcome of the Gulf War. He has won many national and international awards for his Newsweek reporting, including the George Washington Honor Medal for excellence in communications.

Hack's books includeThe Vietnam Primer and the international best seller About Face. His newest book Hazardous Duty is now in the bookstores.

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.



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

Unit Awards
- Presidential Unit Citation (with one Oak Leaf Cluster)
- 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

Foreign Awards
- 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
*Note: As per a Department of the Army audit conducted by COL Pam Mitchell, Chief Personnel Service
Support Division on May 6 1999.

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