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© Copyright 1996-2005
by David H. Hackworth
All Rights Reserved

Defending America
Hack's Weekly Column

INTEL Center

SFTT needs your help to investigate the following hot topics:

Fallujah Incident of June 23, 2005
WANTED – SFTT is looking for information on the fatal attack/ambush on the Marine Corps vehicle that killed six Marines and injured another 13 in Fallujah on June 23, 2005.

Essential Elements of Information include, but are not limited to:

1. In what type of vehicle were the U.S. Marines riding, and what, if any weapon was mounted on the vehicle? (If there was a mounted weapon, was it manned?)

2. What was the composition of the convoy that included the targeted vehicle?

3. Was this vehicle on a routine “admin” run that took the same route, at about the same time every day? Was this a “shift change” run, either at the end of standing duty as screeners for Iraqi females, or taking our troops to their posts of duty as screeners?

4. Were the passengers loaded in an admin or tactical manner? That is, were they facing outboard with weapons at the ready, rounds in the chambers? Or, were they seated in the truck facing each other with weapons carried/stowed in a non-tactical fashion?

5. Was there aerial surveillance of the convoy route?

6. What was the nature of the suicide vehicle used in the attack?

7. How many enemy fighters were involved, if known?

8. Why have the Marine Corps and DoD delayed release of the names of four of the six personnel who were KIA?

9. We are particularly interested in hearing from Marines or other personnel who were in the convoy when the attack took place, or in headquarters who monitored the situation.

Confidentiality guaranteed to all responders. Please email Roger Charles at sfttpres@aol.com

URGENT – Hack’s Wife / Partner Eilhys Needs Help With Hack Stories
Hack was working on a book about "Leadership" when he died. To honor his request to finish the book, his widow Eilhys wants to hear from those of you able to share anecdotes about Leadership involving your personal experience with Hack—how his leadership affected you and/or the situation. And how life-lessons you learned from Hack affected and/or changed your life. Eilhys would also welcome any anecdotes about Hack for their archives. Please contact Eilhys directly.

Troop Morale
To all our troops serving in Iraq and those who have recently returned home, SFTT wants a morale check with you: How has your service in Iraq affected your personal attitudes toward military service? How has your unit's morale fared during its deployment? What have been the key events or situations that have determined morale for you and your unit? We want to hear from all hands. Confidentiality guaranteed for all responses. Please reply direct to SFTT President Roger Charles

Are Homecoming Warriors Treated Well?
SFTT is very interested to know what kind of reception our warriors who are rotating back to the United States through Kuwait, Bahrain, Turkey, etc. are being given at their staging bases in theater. (SFTT is not concerned about the great receptions once they get to the States). We are particularly interested in the experience of those who have been in the killing zones, not those who watched the war on their computer screens. Is there open access to the perks that the REMFs get on a daily, routine basis, i.e., hot chow available upon arrival (with 24-hour access to the dessert bar), fast food concessions on bases, MWR facilities, etc.? Or, are they being shuffled along so as not to interfere with normal ops, and not to create lines at the pizza and burger joints at the bases? Are senior officers routinely showing up to let these warriors know how much their time on the killing fields is valued by the commanders whose orders meant life and death? First-hand accounts are most urgently desired – the more detail the better. And, if there’s “good news” and our warriors are being received in the manner they deserve to be after spending months in the hell-holes of Iraq, SFTT wants know about that, too. Please reply here.

Imminent Danger Pay Issues

As part of a Special Project, SFTT and DefenseWatch request information from active-duty troops on the issue of imminent danger pay, including examples of unfair application of the eligibility criteria and any abuses of the system. If you have any knowledge of these or other related issues we want to hear from you. All contact info will be strictly confidential. Send comments here

Seeking Info on Recruiting
A major news organization is looking for military recruiters, either active or recently retired, to shed light on how recruitment is going these days. Please send messages here. All responses will be treated with strict confidentiality.

Soft Training
Getting more than the run of the mill complaints concerning soft training at the Army’s initial entry training camps. This is especially true from concerned moms and dads. Most say Army basic training is a joke and the cadre can’t sack anyone because CO’s are concerned with getting zapped for a high attrition. Please shoot SFTT your first hand observation. Not of yesterday but today. Thanks.

Probing Detainee Abuse
Numerous sources have been asking us to look into allegations of a possible DoD cover-up of prisoner abuse scandals in Afghanistan, Iraq and at Gitmo. If you have any intel about a cover-up of an incident of prisoner abuse/torture by either the military or a civilian intel agency, we want to know about it. Needless to say, no names or other ID needed, just solid facts or a place to look. This is an important one, folks. All assistance is appreciated. Send all intel here

Poor Troop Morale in Iraq?
News reports are flying all around concerning the growing erosion of morale among the troops in Iraq. Is this true? We would like to hear from people directly involved in this vital issue: What do you and your buddies really think about the current mission in Iraq? If you are currently serving in Iraq, about to deploy or have recently redeployed, we would like to hear from you. All contact info will be strictly confidential. Send comments here

Combat Zone Tax Break
We are told by folks around the flagpole in good old Heidelberg that the top brass there are running the old end-of-the-month trip to Bosnia and Kosovo. You know tax break for visiting a combat zone but nothing valid comes from the trip except the troops there being harassed by visiting firemen and women. Would appreciate your on the ground observations. True. Not true. Names and frequency of visitors. All input will be treated off the record. Please send SFTT your observations.

Attention Fort Jackson Drill SGTs
SFTT has been getting a fair number of complaints from Drills at Jax… Here is a sample:

Hi Sir, It is amazing how a country at WAR is cuddling soldiers in Training. Ft.Jackson is as Crazy, Gen A.Turner who is always in NCO business is constantly hiding in the bushes to catch Drill Sergeants cussing. He been tryig to relieve many of them. Colonel there is so much going on at Ft.Jackson in the BCT enviroment i could spend days talking. The bottom line is that Drill Sgt are just doing there time and flying low under the radar so that they don't lose their lively hood. I continued to be Old School. I wsh that you or someone in your staff could check Ft.Jackson out, and talk to some Drill Sgts off-line and get their perspectives. "This We'll Defend" A SENIOR DRILL

Pls get in touch and give SFTT your non-attributable comments. Promise our como will be between you and me with no names unless you so demand. Thanks.

More Intel Requests

The Art of War
& Other Important Matters


A ‘Signature’ Win
for the Families

To those fortunate people who have not endured the agony and grief of losing a loved one in Iraq and Afghanistan, the issue of whether or not the Secretary of Defense personally signed a condolence, or had the document executed with an autopen machine, may seem abstract and not that important. But to soldiers and their families, this seemingly minor point carries great resonance, for such a letter is supposed to reflect the fact that the U.S. military – despite its size and far-flung operations – is even today, in this era of smart weapons and spaced-based sensors, a band of brothers united in common cause to protect the nation. Full Story

Major Vandergriff’s Brave Call To Blow Up The US Army Personnel System And Start All Over Again
Readers Respond to Hack's Article:
Memo to the Army Chief of Staff

Book Q&A with Hack

SMSH Feedback: Comments
from Grunts

Maxim Magazine

Reviewed by
Steven Lee Beeber

"Tougher than a one-dollar steak and madder than John Wayne at a peace rally..." Full Review and Others

"A riveting, candid, and hard-hitting combat narrative by one of the top few brilliant battlefield leaders in the history of the U.S. Army. Hackworth took over an ineffective infantry battalion in the 1969 "withdrawal" Army and turned it into a superb, proud and aggressive fighting unit against an unseen, hit-and-run enemy. What he learned and how he fought could be useful in Afghanistan against the guerrilla enemy faced by Free World Forces. Outstanding!"
-- Harold G. Moore
Lt. General, (U.S. Army, Ret.)
Bestselling Co-author of

Order Your Copy Today!

Band of Brothers
For The Vietnam Generation

Colonel David H. Hackworth, one of America's most decorated soldiers, lays bare his most daring and legendary tour of duty.

With a full year of Vietnam combat and five months of intense in-country after-action analysis under his pistol belt, Hackworth pens the classic tactical handbook Vietnam Primer with military historian Samuel Marshall. In a radical shift from the World War II-era tactics then employed in Vietnam, Hackworth stresses the necessity of using disciplined, small units of well-trained men to best fight the hit-and-run warfare of the elusive Viet Cong. "Out-G-ing the G," he called his tactics.

Hackworth's expertise lands him back in Vietnam. The Army's clear-put up or shut up. Given the "hopeless" 4/39th-an infantry battalion of poorly led draftees with one of the Army's worst casualty rates-Hackworth leads from up front and finds the best in every one of his grunts. Together they take a page from the VC, write their own book, and become the meanest in the Mekong Delta-the Hardcore Recondos.

With the U.S. again facing elusive insurgent foes-and the hit-and-run tactics of the international terror networks we're presently up against-the 4/39 Hardcore Battalion's successes provide hard-won lessons-learned that are more applicable now than ever.

A tour de force of front-line combat action, STEEL MY SOLDIERS' HEARTS takes readers alongside sniper missions, into grunt ambush actions, above fields of fire with hard-hitting helicopter strikes, and inside the quagmire of command politics. Hackworth graduates the Mekong Delta brotherhood into the pantheon of our nation's most heroic and effective warriors.

David H. Hackworth

A syndicated columnist for King Features (Defending America), David Hackworth is co-author of the 1989 international best seller, About Face subtitled,The Odyssey of an American Warrior and the subsequent Brave Men.

He also co-authored the Vietnam Primer -- the fighting man's bible for guerrilla warfare in Vietnam which was published by the Pentagon and used as a training manual during the Vietnam War -- and Hazardous Duty which has been a best seller all around America and is still on the shelves in paperback.

Hack's most recent book, Steel My Soldiers' Hearts
Buy Now, has been a best seller around the nation. Go here for details or wait and see the movie. Lot's of excellent insights from readers can be found here.

These pages are designed to introduce you to Colonel Hackworth and keep you up to date with his writings and personal mission to:

"Ensure that American troops are never put in harm's way without the right training, the right equipment, the right leadership, and the right mission."



VIETNAM PRIMER is now available for shipping in a new updated edition, which includes two chapters of STEEL MY

We’ve received many bulk orders for the primer from combat units. New SOP: 10 copies or more $11.00 a pop.

a captured VC photo from the collection of Sgt. Don Jellema,  221st Signal Company (photographic)
"Three out of four booby traps employed trip wires attached to grenades. Of these, the majority were Red Chinese. Nineteen percent of the mines and booby traps came from dud U.S. bombs and shells, the explosive material scraped out and then placed in C-ration or coffee cans careless GIs left behind."
--Col. David Hackworth

The March of the Porcelain Soldiers
Nothing is more basic than Basic Combat Training. Basic to the ways of war. Basic to national security. Basic to the very survival of the United States. So how come Fort Jackson, the single largest producer of Basic grunts, male and female, is under the command of a general who piled up more friendly fire casualties than anyone else in Desert Storm?
Full Story |
Reader Feedback

The U.S. Army: An Unavoidable Challenge

Spc. Escobedo (left) and Staff Sgt. Meegan (right) stop to discuss the next maneuver during a regular patrol of the Demilitarized Zone in the Republic of Korea, on Oct. 20, 1998. Escobedo and Meegan are assigned to the Joint Security Area Scout Platoon. The patrol is part of a Quick Reaction Force that is positioned in the zone to respond to any situations that may arise. These U.S. Army soldiers are attached to the United Nations Command Security Battalion. DoD photo by Senior Airman Jeffrey Allen, U.S. Air Force. (Released)

The US Army is pursuing the most comprehensive transformation of its forces since the early years of WWII. Army Transformation is nested within and dependent upon joint transformation, guided by the mandates embodied within strategic policy documents such as the National Military Strategy, Defense Planning Guidance, and the Quadrennial Defense Review. These sources unequivocally assert the critical role of landpower to dominate the highly complex land environment that comprises the heart of most joint operations and affirm an enduring and unavoidable challenge in conflict to control terrain, people, and resources on land, where political authority resides. more

Bringing the Awards System Back to Reality
The original premise of the American system of Military awards, as it progressed from the institution of a Medal of Honor during the Civil War through its expansion during and between the two World Wars, was to recognize bravery in combat, participation in campaigns and some few acts of outstanding planning and leadership in warfare. From that original intent, it has become so bloated as to be almost meaningless. It is not unusual for a service member to complete a first enlistment with four rows of ribbons, or for a service member with a few tours in, but no combat service, to wear multiple personal decorations. Full Story
The Wolfhound Raiders

I've had scores of requests for information on the Wolfhound Raiders that were formed and fought in the Korean War. Here is an extract from Gung Ho magazine and two chapters from ABOUT FACE that cover the Raiders during the Korean War. more
The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) summary report of U.S. lessons learned in Iraq.
View Report (PDF)

The Size Of The U.S. Army
A spot on article of what is wrong with our army and the fixes. Please copy and send to your lawmakers with a pencilled note demanding action – Am told this elite group of self serving takers do read these while the rest of the letters go to clerks. If we don’t get engaged and soon, our country will soon be a third world nation because of the extreme neo cons and their extreme liberal pals led by the corrupt multi nationals. - Hack

Infantryman's Prayer
This prayer was sent in to us just recently. We believe it to be worthwhile to post and offer it for wider circulation. more

"The hope of freedom depends in real measure upon our strength, our heart, and our wisdom. We must be strong in arms....We must be devoted with all our hearts to the values we defend."

President and General
Dwight D. Eisenhower

The Wall
The area around him was devoid of wind and snow, as if the Wall created a sheltered harbor from the storm. He was staring at one panel, at a spot about chest high. Upon my approach, he said to no one in particular, "Goddamn bastards are doing it again." more

A Tribute To All Who Served
You were there, and you were bloodied. Our world, outside the band of brothers who served, has never seen what we were fighting against and know what we were fighting for. The journalist, college students, and peace activists never realised the damage they were doing, or that all of them had freedoms because of what warriors, who paid the price, did to protect them. And you/we felt the defense of freedom, our domestic tranquility, and our way of life here in America was worthy of our fight. If you are a Veteran who served, all I can say is "Welcome Home" and "Semper Fi" you are worthy of our nation's support! After having been there, your world was never the same again!! View Flash Movie

U.S. Military Oaths of Office

Enlisted Oath of Office for the U.S. Military:

''I, <insert name>, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.''

Commission Officer’s Oath for the U.S. Military:

“I <insert name>, having been appointed a <insert rank> in the U.S. Army under the conditions indicated in this document, do accept such appointment and do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter, so help me God.”

The 'Fake' File
F A K E :
Fake SEAL Stan Glosson: Evoking (FAKE) Memories of Vietnam
Iraq is not Vietnam. But inside Glosson's head, they bleed together. This week's Pentagon spin may as well be the inflated body counts from decades past. Still tormented at 60, estranged from his wife, and walking a tightrope recovery from heroin addiction picked up in Vietnam, the former Navy SEAL keeps mixing up the two wars: WMD and Agent Orange. Abu Ghurayb and My Lai. Pat Tillman and . . . Stan Glosson. "All these innocent young guys," he says. "My war ended 30 years ago. But every time I hear those stories, it puts me in a tailspin." Full Story

F A K E :
Arthur D. Lujan, Assistant Principal, Backman Elementary, Salt Lake District
"He is our personal Old Glory, our heart and soul, our spirit, our confidante, our everything," Principal Fern Wilkerson wrote in an award nomination. Lujan, who once was caught up with gangs, turned around his life and became a Navy SEAL, Vietnam veteran and two-time Purple Heart recipient. Now in education, he continues to serve proudly. "Today all students, impoverished or not, need real heroes, genuine role models; Art is that and more," Wilkerson wrote. "He personally invented the words: work ethic. He represents the spirit of America and all that is good in education." Full Story

F A K E :
Muskegon Fire Chief Exposed as Phony SEAL
It never ceases to amaze us the depths some people will go to in order to present themselves to the world as something they are not. In this instance, Patrick Laverne Simpson managed to get himself hired back in 1995 as Fire Chief for the City of Muskegon, Michigan. He was the first Fire Chief hired from outside the department since it was formed in 1873. On his application he stated he was a former Navy SEAL and had a Master’s Degree.
Full Story

F A K E :
Johnson, James Dearing
VeriSEAL is continuing its investigation into the false military claims of 48 year old James Dearing Johnson of Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Johnson, an insurance adjuster and former car salesman has misled over a dozen women by claiming to be an active duty Navy SEAL deployed to Afghanistan in March 2003 as part of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). Full Story

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