Benjamin Thurman Hacker
Benjamin T. Hacker
|Born||September 19, 1935|
|Died||December 28, 2003 (aged 68)|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/||United States Navy|
|Years of service||1958-1988|
|Rank||Rear Admiral (UH)|
|Commands held||US Naval Facility Barbados, WI|
NROTC Florida A & M University
Patrol Squadron 24 (VP-24)
NAS Brunswick, Maine
NTC San Diego
Naval Base San Diego
|Awards||Defense Superior Service Medal|
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal
|Other work||Insurance Executive (USAA)|
Director - CA Dept of Veterans Affairs
Hacker was born September 19, 1935 in Washington, D.C. 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. Of their three children, Benjamin was the eldest.
After completing the Navy's Aviation Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Florida in September 1958, Hacker was commissioned 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 July 2, 1968. In 1972, he established the Naval ROTC Unit at Florida A & M University, in Tallahassee, Florida and served as the first Commanding Officer and Professor of Naval Science of this unit. In 1974 he became Commanding Officer of Patrol Squadron 24 (VP-24), a P-3C Orion Squadron stationed in Jacksonville, Florida 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 Masters of Science Degree in Administration from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. In August 1978, he was assigned as Commanding Officer, Naval Air Station, Brunswick, Maine.
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, Illinois. 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 United States Navy. He held ten commands over the course of his 30-year military career. Included among Rear Admiral Hacker's personal decorations are the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with three Gold Stars, and the Meritorious Service Medal.
In the early 1990s, at the request of then-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 Regional Senior Vice President/General Manager in the company's Mid-Atlantic Region headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia. Rear Admiral Hacker retired from USAA in 1998 but continued to serve on various local and national Boards.
On December 28, 2003, Rear Admiral Hacker died from complications relating to Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL), a disease which he battled for 12 years.
- The Chrysler Museum of Art "The Quilts of Gee's Bend" exhibit dedication
- NTC San Diego Center Commanders
- Navy Patrol Squadron VP-21
- Navy Patrol Squadron VP-24 *
- Alpha Phi Alpha
- Photos: NAVFAC Barbados, 1968 Change of Command
- Commander Jim Jackson: Black Stars to Gold Stripes Speaker & Exhibit Series
- Photo: NAVFAC NF Argentia, 1966 Lt. Hacker
- Article in Attualità an Italian publication - December 2005 (Item no longer online)
- 200Plus Men news article - November 2005
- CNO to NNOA: 21st Century Human CapitALL System Needed Now - August 13, 2004
- Armed Services YMCA, news letter - Spring/Summer 2004
- Virginian-Pilot, The (Norfolk, VA) - February 9, 2004, B9 [Title: Admiral was Pioneer for African Americans]
- Washington Post, The - Obituaries - (Washington, DC) December 31, 2003
- Virginia-Pilot "Letter to the Editor" by Admiral Hacker July 1997
- Virginian-Pilot, The (Norfolk, VA) - February 11, 1997 
- USAA appoints new top gun for Mid-Atlantic Region, San Antonio Business Journal - January 29, 1997
- Jet, - August 15, 1988, p30 [Title: Armed Forces] View
- Jet, - February 1985, p8 [Title: Ticker Tape U.S.A] View
- Ebony, - February 1983, p74 - 78 [Title: Admiral Hacker Takes Command] View
- Ebony, - Aug 1983 - v. 38, no. 10, p177 [Title: Breakthroughs] View
- Jet, - Sep 6, 1982 - v. 62, no. 26, p46 [Title: Armed Forces] View
- Jet, - Dec 12, 1974 - v. 47, no. 12, p50 [Title: Armed Forces] View
- Jet, - Oct 17, 1968 - v. 35, no. 2, p6 [Title: National Report] View
- 2013 RADM Ben Hacker Leadership in Literacy Award winner.
- 2011 Scrabble for Literacy - Feb 25, 2011
- 2011 Scrabble for Literacy - Feb 25, 2011
- Fifth Annual RADM Ben Hacker Leadership in Literacy Awards winner - Sep 2008
- Fourth Annual RADM Ben Hacker Leadership in Literacy Awards Breakfast - Sep 20, 2007[permanent dead link]