Colonel Hackworth possessed not only divinely powered soldiering skills as a combat superhero, but also tremendous integrity and moral courage to tell the truth and act upon his convictions with no fear of the consequences.
- Spoken by Catherine Aspy at David Hackworth's May 2005 Funeral
(Picture of Hackworth (far left), January 22,1966, About Face)
Colonel David H. Hackworth led the way to military reform by pointing out “bad leaders and practice” in the military and in support of the troops. Hackworth, an orphan, saw “the service” as his family. In 1946, Hackworth was in the 752nd Tank Battalion in Trieste, Italy, receiving his initial training under Captain Steve Prazenka who taught him lessons on how to effectively lead soldiers. Hackworth went on to lead two outstanding units in Korea and two in Vietnam. However, by 1971, Hackworth was outraged by poor leadership and spoke out against the Army through Issues & Answers, a TV broadcast. This cost Hackworth his military career, but brought transparency to issues impacting the effectiveness of Army protocols. Hackworth then became a correspondent covering U.S. military operations bringing attention to the problems he witnessed. Colonel David Hackworth, despite damage to his personal reputation, left a legacy of effective personal leadership and the importance of military reform and amelioration*.
*amelioration: the act of making something better; improvement