Sgt. Hack on Highway 13 outside of Lai Khe, Vietnam, 1968

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BIO: SFC David D. Hack, U.S. Army, Retired

SFC (Ret) David Hack was raised in rural Kentucky and later in Louisville, Kentucky. David Hack joined the U.S. Coast Guard in 1957 at the age of 17 and served four years. In 1964, he enlisted in the Army, volunteering for Ranger Training. He processed through the recruiter in Phoenix, AZ and then Fort Ord, CA, to the Ranger Department at Fort Benning, GA, in 1965, fully believing he was on track for Ranger School training. Based on his prior service in the Coast Guard, he was immediately assigned to serve as a Harbor Craft Boatswain at the Ranger Department’s camp at Eglin Air Force Base, FL, while waiting for his Ranger class start date.

For 21 days a month for 2-years, while assigned to the Ranger Department, he supported over 20 Ranger School training cycles, always believing that his own start date would come. However, his own desire to attend Ranger Training took second place to the needs of the Army and SGT Hack loyally served on the Ranger Training Cadre preparing young Army Soldiers and officers for combat in Vietnam. Although during his 24-months supporting Ranger training he did not complete the two-month Ranger training program and never wore a Ranger Tab, subsequent assignment officers and leaders reviewing his assignments would recurrently see his assignment to 1st Ranger Company, 1st Student Battalion, the Student Brigade, United States Army Infantry School, Fort Benning, and carefully manage his assignments to make best use of his talent and experience. Although Sarge is disappointed that he never got his Ranger class date and the opportunity to earn his Ranger Tab, he realizes the importance of his amphibious training responsibilities and is very proud of his two years of duty with the Ranger Training Brigade.

SFC Hack later joined the 1st Infantry Division and was serving as a sergeant with the Big Red One in Lai Khe, Vietnam, in 1968, when he was awarded the Purple Heart for combat injuries that ultimately ended his military career. He actually suffered injuries on two occasions, taking shrapnel to the leg, arm, face, back and side. He spent a full year in a U.S. Army hospital in Fort Knox and was three years on medical hold.

The Department of the Army asked SFC Hack to be a recruiter, and he was assigned the Akron, Cuyahoga Falls, and Tallmadge, Ohio area.

He gained nationwide recognition as a top Army recruiter. His distinctive recruiting tools, which included a “Sgt. Hack Wants You” T-shirt, a custom Army jeep, and a custom-painted Corvette, helped make SFC Hack the United States’ No. 1 recruiter from 1969 to 1973. The jeep he used is on display at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, home of the 101st Airborne Division. The only other jeep ever to be enshrined in a U.S. military museum belonged to GEN George S. Patton, whose jeep is enshrined at Fort Knox.

In the years that followed his retirement from the Army, SFC Hack served in the Hudson Township Police Department and in the Summit County Sheriff’s Department. He finally ended his police career as the Sebring, Ohio, Chief of Police.

In 1985, he and his wife, Lani, founded U.S. Wings, a family-operated company in Boston Heights (Hudson), Ohio, which supplies bomber jackets and aviation gear to all branches of the armed forces.

SFC Hack is a Life Member of the 101st Airborne Division, the 1st Infantry Division, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW), and the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police. In 2011, he was formally presented with a Purple Heart, a Vietnam Service Medal, and Army Recruiter Badge and other honors at a ceremony held by Ohio Congressman Steven LaTourette.

This bio is also available at SgtHackBio.com.

Sgt. Hack’s original military records are on file with The National Personnel Records Center, 9700 Page Ave, St. Louis MO, 63132-5100.


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