Friday, May 06, 2005

COL David Hackworth

According to a New York Times report, Colonel David Hackworth, U.S. Army, died on May 4 at the age of 74.

By any conventional measure, Colonel Hackworth was a hero. More important, he was a good soldier who earned the respect of his troops and irritated the hell out of senior officers. That's usually a good sign.

General Creighton Abrams, a legendary soldier who was probably George Patton's best battalion commander, called Colonel Hackworth "the best battalion commander I ever saw in the United States Army." High praise, considering the source, especially since General Abrams was highly pissed at him when he said it.

Personally, I disagreed with a lot of Colonel Hackworth's opinions, but I respected him.

The Army and the Nation are diminished by his passing, and we can only hope there are enough fearless, fire-breathing, loudmouthed officers to replace him.


Blogger GI Wife said...

Just Blog Hopping thru.
Love finding other military blogs!
My hubby is in Iraq currently, I have so much pride and respect for him and all the other soldiers who have ever served or are currently serving.

12:23 PM, May 06, 2005  
Blogger Esther said...

Tom, beautiful post to an amazing man.

gi wife -- please send your husband our sincere gratitude for all he is doing to keep us safe.

2:25 PM, May 06, 2005  
Anonymous AHS MilBlogger said...

Agree with every word of it. Colonel Hackworth is the reason that I decided to join the Army. I read his autobiography when I was 17 and that was that. His take on the Army was my first and most influential impression of how leaders should operate and I am glad that I learned from him (his words) before I learned from others.

7:41 PM, May 06, 2005  
Blogger Clublint said...

It's great to see that one man had the courage to stand up to superiors when they were in the wrong. It's also nice to see that he influenced others to take pride in their country and protect it.

It is unfortunate that there are now too many sheep in our armed forces who would rather just follow orders than take the high road and do what is morally right.

I'm not slamming our service men and women, far from it. It's just laws are now in place where they must do what they're told or risk court martial and that is sad.


9:38 PM, May 06, 2005  
Blogger Gun-Toting Liberal said...

May this great man RIP. Agree or disagree with ALL of his politics, he was a great man and an inspiration to many. I miss him already.

9:48 PM, May 06, 2005  
Blogger Kevin said...

I also am a big fan of Col Hackworth's. It does take courage to stand up to your superiors, knowing that you'll never be promoted again. This is not only true in the military, but also in many organizations.

As for Deb's comments about there being a lack of it in today's military, I would have to say that maybe Deb should spend a day in my shoes. Then she would know that she is wrong. Seems to me that the military is a much higher road than most of American society.

12:09 AM, May 07, 2005  
Blogger Tom Carter said...

Thanks for your comments.

Deb, I don't mean to gang up on you, but Kevin is right. It's not correct to say "there are now too many sheep in our armed forces" or there are new laws about obeying orders. Neither is true. If anything, I'd say that the U.S. military is more professional and efficient now than it's ever been. What outsiders have never understood is the degree to which military officers and NCOs are encouraged to think for themselves. Sometimes that involves deviating from orders. It happens a lot, and while anyone can face a court-martial for violating orders, it rarely happens if you do it the right way and for the right reasons. We all know that.

One thing you have to remember about officers like COL Hackworth is they're mavericks. By definition there aren't many of them, and they serve a purpose. However, they aren't always a positive influence, and you have to admire them with a certain amount of caution. Most mavericks don't become as famous as Hackworth or Patton, but they're always there.

4:17 AM, May 07, 2005  
Blogger Rosemary said...

I agree with your rendition. May he RIP at God's House.

3:38 PM, May 08, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Agree with you completely. RIP, Col. Hackworth.

10:45 PM, May 08, 2005  

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