David Hackworth


What I learned from Colonel David Hackworth:

There are not many people that I like and even less that I respect.
You couldn't help but like and respect Hack.
Respect from soldiers in the field of fire was poured upon Colonel David Hackworth in bucket loads. He earned his salute from every quiet professional.

Hack broke the mold with his brutal honesty, crystal clear value system and the true courage that comes from somewhere deep within. Colonel David Hackworth was a quiet professionals professional in the purest sense of the term and he is missed enormously. His powerful phrase "Absolute Truth" spoke volumes about what and who we value.

"What I always loved were the troops, and I love them still. I love them because they are what it's all about, soldiers on hazardous duty sharing the dangers of war, forged strong and pure and true... Because they do the dying. They are the absolute truth." Hazardous Duty (1996)

One soldier who said he got back from Iraq "five minutes ago," expressed his feelings in a note to Hackworth's family "Man, there is a lot of emotion in me for a man I barely knew. We corresponded some, of course, I read all the books and articles. I will miss the true warrior that inspired me through trying times."

An Army major recalled how Hackworth, on a recent fact-finding trip to Iraq, forcefully insisted on lending him his state-of-the-art body armor leaving Hack completely unprotected. That's just the way he was.

"A lot of these guys were touched by Hackworth," said Nick Profitt, a former Army sergeant and Newsweek journalist who met Hackworth in the jungles of Vietnam, where he penned a manual on guerrilla warfare, still widely read. "He appealed to the combat-leader type and was a monumental pain... to those in the Pentagon he considered phonies."

Fight for the things you believe in.

Take actions thoughtfully, but forcefully, based on your values.
It doesn't matter what you say - it matters what you do.
Hack believed in forged experiences - tested mettle.

Hack got through to people who believe in something and connected with the grunts in the trenches. You felt he understood the challenges because he had been there and performed with a distinction that we all respected. If you want to learn about something - talk to someone who has been there and stay away from those with merely opinions. Stay in the trenches - fight the bureaucracy by gaining the respect of those in the trenches - you can't talk your way into or out of that one.

Say what you mean and mean what you say.


That's what I learned from Colonel David Hackworth.

Learn more about Colonel David Hackworth
Colonel Hackworth - Wikipedia

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