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by David H. Hackworth
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Hack's Medal Flap with CBS

In 1997, CBS News accused Hack of wearing a Ranger Tab and claiming an extra Distinguished Flying Cross on his web site. Hack had the Department of the Army audit his military honors. Here are the results of their study. Decide for yourself who is the liar:

Awards and Decorations - Items at Issue:

Silver Star (SS) - The OMPF contains documentation (i.e., an award order and DD Form 214) that indicates award of the SS (9th OLC) (i.e., ten awards). However, COL(R) Hackworth's biography of military awards on the worldwide web (I9 May 97) only reflects Silver Star with eight Oak Leaf Clusters (i.e., nine awards).

Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) - The Official Military Personnel File (OMPF) substantiates only one (1) award of the DFC. However, subsequent to individual's retirement, a full issue of engraved medal sets was authorized by the Military Awards Branch. In documents dated 25 Sep 72, 2 Jun 76 and 5 Oct 88, the DFC was requisitioned for the individual along with two oak leaf clusters. However, COL(R) Hackworth questioned the accuracy of this item in a note to XO, VCSA. Sometime in May 97, COL(R) Hackworth's biography of military awards on the worldwide web was adjusted to reflect only one award of the DFC.

Air Medal (AM) - The OMPF contains documentation (i.e. - award orders and DD Form 214) that indicates as many as 48 awards of the AM; however, it appears there were some errors in the award orders. Orders on file in the OMPF document 34 actual awards of the AM; one for valor.

COL(R) Hackworth's biography of military awards on the worldwide web (I 9 May97) reflected Air Medal with thirty- four Oak Leaf Clusters .)

Ranger Tab - Authorization for the Ranger Tab appears on the Officer Qualification Record of the OMPF and DD Form 214. There is no record in the OMPF to substantiate COL(R) Hackworth entitlement to the Ranger Tab. Authorization for the Ranger Tab appears on the Officer Qualification Record of the OMPF and may have been based on a reconstructed enlisted assignment entry that indicated the individual had served in the 5th Ranger Company in Korea. However, it appears this is an erroneous entry."

Hack challenged CBS and threatened to sue them. The end result is their piss weak non-apology that follows.


September 21, 1998

Dear Colonel Hackworth:

A year has now passed since the broadcast by the CBS EVENING NEWS WITH DAN RATHER of a two-part report concerning the accuracy of two of the many military decorations listed by you on your website. During that time, you and CBS have corresponded concerning your claim that our reports "didn't get the story right" and that CBS's account of the controversy constituted a disservice to you -- one of America's most highly decorated soldiers and a man of unquestioned valor.

I am writing you now in the belief that the Army's March 1998 report of its investigation of your service record, and the medals and awards to which you are entitled, affords us the opportunity of resolving this matter to our mutual satisfaction.

The Army's audit of its records has determined that the Army made an administrative error back in 1988, when it reissued your medals and awards. Along with numerous other decorations, the Army mistakenly issued you a Ranger Tab and two Oak Leaf Clusters for your Distinguished Flying Cross. The Army has thus verified what we reported as your explanation of the matter.

As far as we are concerned, the Army audit makes clear that you did not at any time wear or claim any military honor not actually issued by the U.S. Army, based on its official records, including the service record you signed and dated. At the same time, CBS continues to believe that ourreports did not state or imply that you knowingly wore or claimed decorations not issued by the U.S. Army and that any such inference drawn from the reports would be mistaken.

Similarly, we do not believe our reports in any way equated your conduct with that of the late Admiral Boorda's. Indeed, as we believe we made clear in our reports, by all accounts you are a man who has shown extraordinary heroism in your service to our country, and has deservedly been awardedmany of the nation's most coveted awards for valor.



Page Two
September 21, 1998

I sincerely hope that this letter will address your concerns about our reports, which we continue to believe were entirely proper reports on the controversy.


Al Ortiz
Executive Producer

Colonel David Hackworth
c/o Bertram Fields, Esq.
Greenberg Glusker Fields
Claman & Machtinger LLP
1900 Avenue of the Stars
Suite 2100
Los Angeles, California 90067-4590

JIS/2642 I