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First Name: Benjamin

Last Name: Hacker

Birthplace: Washington, DC, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: Thurman

Date of Birth: 19 September 1935

Date of Death: 28 December 2003

Rank or Rate: Rear Admiral

Years Served:
Benjamin Thurman Hacker


Benjamin Thurman Hacker
Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy

Benjamin Thurman Hacker was born on 19 September 1935 in Washington, DC. His father, C. Leroy Hacker, was an author, Baptist pastor and a Chaplain in the U.S. Army. His mother, Alzeda Crockett Hacker, was an accomplished musician. Benjamin was the eldest of their three children.

Benjamin attended Wittenberg University in Springfield, OH, graduating in 1957 with a B.A. Degree in Science. He married his wife Jeanne, in 1958.

Naval Service

After completing the Navy's Aviation Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, FL, in September 1958, Hacker was commissioned as an Ensign and subsequently received the designation of Naval Aviation Observer (NAO). Hacker gained experience as a Navigator and Tactical Coordinator in SP-2H "Neptune" and P-3C "Orion" aircraft through numerous operational assignments in the far reaches of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and Mediterranean Sea.

He took command of the U.S. Naval Facility, Barbados, West Indies on 2 July 1968. In 1972 he established the Naval ROTC Unit at Florida A & M University in Tallahassee, FL, and served as the first Commanding Officer and Professor of Naval Science of this unit. In 1974 he became Commanding Officer of Patrol Squadron Twenty-Four (VP-24), a P-3C "Orion" Squadron stationed in Jacksonville, FL, and was promoted to Captain following his Squadron Command tour.

In June 1978, he completed studies in National Security Policy at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, and earned a Master of Science Degree in Administration from George Washington University in Washington, DC. In August 1978, he was assigned as Commanding Officer, Naval Air Station, Brunswick, ME.

In 1980 then-Captain Hacker was selected for promotion to Rear Admiral and assumed duties as Commander, U.S. Military Enlistment Processing Command with Headquarters in Fort Sheridan, IL. In 1982 he became Commander Fleet Air Mediterranean; Commander Maritime Surveillance and Reconnaissance Forces, U.S. Sixth Fleet; and Commander Maritime Air Forces Mediterranean simultaneously with headquarters in Naples, Italy. In 1986 he was assigned as Commander, Naval Training Center, San Diego. During this assignment he was also assigned Commander, Naval Base San Diego. He held both commands simultaneously for several months. In 1988, at the completion of his assignment as Commander, Naval Base San Diego, Rear Admiral Hacker retired from the U.S. Navy.

Rear Admiral Hacker was the first Naval Flight Officer (NFO) to be selected for Flag Rank in the U.S. Navy. He held ten commands over the course of his 30-year military career.

Medals and Awards

Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit (4 Awards)
Meritorious Service Medal


On 3 November 2005 the "Commander, Task Force 67" Headquarters building located in Sigonella, Sicily, was dedicated in his honor.

In Retirement

After retiring from the Navy, Rear Admiral Hacker worked at financial-services firm USAA as Assistant Vice President for Policy Service, at the organization's western regional office in Sacramento.

In the early 1990s, at the request of then-California Governor Pete Wilson, Hacker served for two years as director of the California Department of Veterans Affairs and then rejoined USAA as Regional Vice President and General Manager of its western region. He moved to San Antonio in his next post in December 1995.

Hacker also held posts as USAA Regional Senior Vice President/General Manager in the company's Mid-Atlantic Region headquartered in Norfolk, VA. Rear Admiral Hacker retired from USAA in 1998 but continued to serve on various local and national Boards.

Death and Burial

Rear Admiral Benjamin Thurman Hacker died on 28 December 2003 from complications relating to Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL), a disease which he battled for 12 years. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

Honoree ID: 2582   Created by: MHOH




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