Hackler, Thomas M., Sr., 1SG

Deceased
 
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Life Member
 
 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
First Sergeant
Last Service Branch
Field Artillery
Last Primary MOS
13Z-Field Artillery Senior Sergeant
Last MOS Group
Field Artillery (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1983-1984, 11Z, 3rd Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment/HHB
Service Years
1964 - 1984
Foreign Language(s)
Vietnamese

First Sergeant


Six Service Stripes



Four Overseas Service Bars


 Last Photo   Personal Details 

1293 kb

Home State
Tennessee
Tennessee
Year of Birth
1945
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by MAJ Mark E Cooper to remember Hackler, Thomas M., Sr. (Hack-Attack), 1SG USA(Ret).

If you knew or served with this Soldier and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
 
Contact Info
Home Town
Athens
Last Address
Not Specified

Date of Passing
Dec 26, 2011
 
Location of Interment
Fairview Memorial Gardens - Stockbridge, Georgia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified


 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award
Driver-W
Driver-T
 
Rifle
Recoilless Rifle
Auto Rifle

 

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord US Army Retired (Post-2007) Career Counselor US Army Retired (Pre-2007)

French Fourragere US Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV) I Corps


 Unofficial Badges 

Combat Advisor Recon Artillery Shoulder Cord Cold War Medal




 Military Association Memberships
Veterans of the Vietnam WarN/APost 5146, Mc Minn County Memorial PostAmerican Legion
TWS Honor Roll
  1984, Veterans of the Vietnam War [Verified]
  2004, Combat Infantrymen's Association, N/A (Member) [Verified]
  2008, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW), Post 5146, Mc Minn County Memorial Post (National President) (Athens, Tennessee) [Verified] - Chap. Page
  2009, American Legion [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2017, TWS Honor Roll


 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Working with "Together We Served" Military Site.

Thomas M. Hackler Sr., 66, passed away on Monday, December 26, 2011, at Parkwest Hospital in Knoxville, Tennessee. He was born on April 10, 1945, in Sparta, Tennessee the son of the late Charlie M. and Francis E. (Revell) Hackler. He married the former Cheryl Gardner on June 6, 1966, in Fort Sill, Oklahoma and she survives. Other survivors include one daughter and son in law: Vielka and Jerry Wilcox of Minneapolis, Minnesota, two sons and a daughter in law: Thomas and Tina Hackler Jr. of East Alton, Illinois, David Hackler and his partner: Mike Volkenant of St. Louis Park, Minnesota, six grandchildren: Luke and Katrina Schlusser, Lori Jo, Mary, Tommy, and Ben Hackler, one great granddaughter: Ella, one sister and brother in law: Amy and Ricky Puckett of Jonesboro, Georgia, one brother: Joe Hackler of Athens, Tennessee.
 

He retired from the United States Army after serving for 20 years. He served three tours in Germany and two tours in Vietnam earning a Silver Star and three Bronze Stars. He taught JROTC at Cretin High School in St. Paul, Minnesota. He was a member of the Bethalto American Legion Post #214 and the Wood River VFW Post #2859. He was the Memorial Team Leader and the Historian specializing in Vietnam era profiles for togetherweserved.com.

He was preceded in death by three sisters: Patsy, Betty Jean, Helen, four brothers: Calvin, Buford, Chuck, and Randy. 
 

In celebration of his life, memorial visitation will be from 12pm until time of memorial services at 2pm on Saturday, January 14, 2012 at Pitchford Funeral Home in Wood River. Full military honors will be conducted by the Ritual Team of VFW Post 1308 of Alton.
 

Memorials are suggested to the family and will be accepted at the funeral home. All memorials that are accepted will be given to togetherweserved.com in remembrance of him. Memorials in his name may be mailed to Pitchford Funeral Home, P.O. Box 626, Wood River, Illinois 62095.

http://www.pitchfordfuneralhome.com/html/thomas_m__hackler_sr.html

   
Other Comments:
I was in the Infantry For 17 years and went to the Artillery as a 13F40
and made 1SG. Two tours in Viet Nam.
Mac- V Team 99 '' 25 th ARVN Recon

operations (ones I Know of). Ben Luc, Luong- Hoa, Duc. - Hoa, Chi,Tan My, Tay Ninh, Doc Hoa 3d Corp , Chu Chi, and Dong Ha (DMZ) Quang Tri
Laos Border, Rubber Plantation
Hill 151 (LZ Chloe)

23d Americal E Co. 2d Bn 1st Inf. 196th LIB. / 11th LIB DMZ to Da Nang
EOD School 23d Americal Div. 120 hours
Vietnamese language School Ft Bliss TX.
First Sergeant School Ft Bliss TX. Class 5-83


I have had a very Good Life. (Not done yet). The Best of my Life was being Military
working with good Troopers and having good Leadership that
maded me Strong. People I will never forget.
I Salute you and say ''Thank you. Job well DONE.
   

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1964, 4th Battalion, 2nd Training Brigade (Fort Gordon, GA), B/41
  1964, 8th Battalion, 2nd Training Brigade (Fort Gordon, GA)
 Unit Assignments
3rd Army30th Infantry Regiment1st Battalion, 48th Infantry (DLI-SC) Vietnamese Language Course, Fort Bliss, Tx
Military Assistance Command Vietnam MACV11th Infantry Regiment1st Brigade, 5th Infantry Division (Mech)82nd Airborne Division
1st Battalion, 508th Airborne Battalion Combat Team11th Infantry Brigade (Light)23rd Infantry Division (Americal)23rd Infantry Division (Americal) Division Artillery
2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry RegimentEOD School 23rd Infantry Division, Vietnam196th Infantry Brigade (Light) 1st (Tiger) Brigade, 2nd Armored Division
1st Battalion, 50th Infantry 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry RegimentU.S. Army1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment
HHC, 1st Infantry Division (Forward)2nd Battalion, 81st Field Artillery Regiment1st Brigade, 8th Infantry Division1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment
1st Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment3rd Battalion, 6th Field Artillery RegimentFirst Sergeant Course, Fort Bliss, TX
  1964-1964, 112.10, 3rd Army
  1964-1966, 112.6, 4th Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment/A Company
  1966-1967, 11C20, 1st Battalion, 48th Infantry /A Company
  1968-1968, 11C20, (DLI-SC) Vietnamese Language Course, Fort Bliss, Tx
  1968-1969, 11C20, MACV Advisory Team 99
  1969-1970, 11C20, 2nd Battalion, 11th Infantry Regiment/A Company
  1969-1970, 11C20, 1st Brigade, 5th Infantry Division (Mech)
  1970-1970, 11H10, 82nd Airborne Division/HHC
  1970-1970, 11C20, 1st Battalion, 508th Airborne Battalion Combat Team
  1970-1971, 11C20, 11th Infantry Brigade (Light)/HHC
  1970-1971, 11C20, 23rd Infantry Division (Americal)
  1970-1971, 11C10, 23rd Infantry Division (Americal) Division Artillery
  1971-1971, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment
  1971-1971, 13Z, EOD School 23rd Infantry Division, Vietnam
  1971-1972, 11C20, 196th Infantry Brigade (Light) /HHC
  1972-1974, 11C20, 1st (Tiger) Brigade, 2nd Armored Division
  1972-1974, 11C20, 1st Battalion, 50th Infantry
  1974-1977, 11C20, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment/Combat Support Company
  1975-1975, Army Station Commander Recruiting Course
  1977-1978, 11C20, 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment
  1978-1979, 13F10, HHC, 1st Infantry Division (Forward)
  1980-1981, 13F10, 2nd Battalion, 81st Field Artillery Regiment/HHB
  1980-1981, 13F10, 2nd Battalion, 81st Field Artillery Regiment/Service Battery
  1980-1981, 13F10, 1st Brigade, 8th Infantry Division
  1981-1982, 13F10, 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment/HHB
  1981-1982, 13F10, 1st Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment
  1982-1982, 13F10, 3rd Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment/HHB
  1982-1982, 13Z, First Sergeant Course, Fort Bliss, TX
  1982-1983, 13Z, 3rd Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment/Service Battery
  1983-1984, 11Z, 3rd Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment/HHB
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1968-1968 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase V Campaign (1968)
  1968-1969 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase VI Campaign (1968-69)
  1969-1969 Vietnam War/Tet 69 Counteroffensive Campaign
  1969-1969 Vietnam War/Summer-Fall 1969 Campaign
  1969-1969 Vietnam War/Winter-Spring 1970 Campaign
  1970-1971 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase VII Campaign (1970-71)1
  1971-1971 Vietnam War/Consolidation I Campaign (1971)
  1971-1972 Vietnam War/Consolidation II Campaign (1971-72)
 Military Association Memberships
Veterans of the Vietnam WarN/APost 5146, Mc Minn County Memorial PostAmerican Legion
TWS Honor Roll
  1984, Veterans of the Vietnam War [Verified]
  2004, Combat Infantrymen's Association, N/A (Member) [Verified]
  2008, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW), Post 5146, Mc Minn County Memorial Post (National President) (Athens, Tennessee) [Verified] - Chap. Page
  2009, American Legion [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2017, TWS Honor Roll

 Photo Album   (More...


Reflections on 1SG Hackler's US Army Service
 
 Reflections On My Service
 
PLEASE DESCRIBE WHO OR WHAT INFLUENCED YOUR DECISION TO JOIN THE ARMY?
I think the one thing that inspired me was my uncle (Tech Sgt. Thomas P. Revell), who was in the Air Force and also previously served in the Navy. He used to come by the house on leave and take me hunting. We talked about the military a lot. He was my idol. He was killed in 1962 when his plane went down in South Africa. I was seventeen years old at the time. This inspired me to want to join the military and make him proud of me. I joined the Army when I turned eighteen. I also wanted to protect my country.
WHETHER YOU WERE IN THE SERVICE FOR SEVERAL YEARS OR AS A CAREER, PLEASE DESCRIBE THE DIRECTION OR PATH YOU TOOK. WHAT WAS YOUR REASON FOR LEAVING?
My first goal was to make 1st Sergeant and to lead people by unlocking their potential so they could go forward and lead others. I wanted them to take pride in their units, in what they were doing and give them a reason to drive on and give them the motivation to advance and be all that they can be.

In 1964, I took AIT Training at Fort Gordon, Georgia with the 8th Battalion, 3rd Training Brigade. After basic, I went to 4th Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, A Co as a Mortar man. I went on to become a Section Leader with the 1st Battalion, 48th Infantry Regiment, A co. I was selected to attend Vietnamese Language School at Biggs Field, in Fort Bliss, Texas in 1968. In November 1968, I was assigned to the 25th ARVN Recon, MACV, Team 99 as a Heavy Weapons Advisor. After my first tour in Vietnam, I was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 11th Infantry Regiment, Co. A, 1st Brigade, 5th Infantry Division, Mechanized out of Fort Carson, Colorado. At the end of 1970, the 82nd Airborne was short on Troops. I volunteered to go to the 82nd Airborne with the 508th Airborne Regimental Combat Team. In February 1971, I volunteered to return to Vietnam with the 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry, 196 Light Infantry Brigade (Americal Division). I was with the 23rd Americal Division. After this tour in Vietnam, I went to the 1st Brigade, 2nd Armored Division, 1st Battalion, 50th Infantry Regiment. In 1974, I went to Germany with the 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. There, I took the Army Station Commander Recruiting Course. From 1978 to 1979, I was re-assigned to the 1st Infantry Division, 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment out of Fort Riley, Kansas as a Heavy Mortar Platoon Sergeant. The latter part of 1978, the Army developed a new MOS, 13F or Fire Support Coordinator. I volunteered to be reassigned to HHB, 1st Battalion, 7th FA, 1st Infantry Division as a Fire Support Sergeant. I then went to the 2nd Battalion, 81st Field Artillery, 1st Brigade, 8th Infantry Division serving the same role. I was also promoted to 1st Sergeant during this time. Due to a shortage of Non Commissioned Officers, I was transferred to 3rd Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment, Service Battery as a Fire Support Sergeant. While there, I was promoted to 1st Sergeant, E-8.
IF YOU PARTICIPATED IN ANY MILITARY OPERATIONS, INCLUDING COMBAT, HUMANITARIAN AND PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS, PLEASE DESCRIBE THOSE WHICH WERE THE MOST SIGNIFICANT TO YOU AND, IF LIFE-CHANGING, IN WHAT WAY.
Yes, I participated in many combat operations over the two tours of duty in Vietnam. The first tour, I was assigned to the 25th ARVN Recon. This involved speaking their language and understanding their culture. My job was to work with the Vietnamese, giving them support and training. Our mission was to stay with them and to interact with the villages and to build their trust. At first, this was challenging to understand their concept of battle and their priorities. Once I understood it, it became much easier to help them with their overall mission.
My second tour, I was assigned to the 23rd Americal Division, 196th Light Infantry Brigade. This tour was different because my job was supporting my infantry units with mortar fire and artillery. The artillery that was with us was the 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery. They communicated with us everything that they fired as we did with them to ensure the safety of our Soldiers on the battle field. When I arrived there, I started out at Chu Lai Base Camp on the DMZ. We went out to Quang Tri. In fact, you couldn't go any further unless you were on foot. Our bunkers were the old French bunkers. This area was very nasty because it was the main trafficking area for the North Vietnam Army moving supplies to Southern Vietnam along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. After the Vietnamese replaced us there, we moved along Highway One and relieved the 5th Mechanized Infantry. They moved out, we stayed in this area for a few weeks, then we were picked up and redeployed to a hill outside of Da Nang. It was called Hill 151. We stayed here for many weeks supporting our Soldiers. We dismantled the hill and destroyed everything. We then were moved North of Da Nang to near the Laotian border. We replaced the 101st Airborne. We remained here in the cold mountains until the end of my tour.
FROM YOUR ENTIRE SERVICE, INCLUDING COMBAT, DESCRIBE THE PERSONAL MEMORIES WHICH HAVE IMPACTED YOU MOST?
In 1968, while in MACV, as Heavy Weapons Advisor, we were on operation with the 25th ARVN Recon. My 1st Lieutenant at the time, Steve Hampton, now retired Lt. Col., had set up a night ambush. We were bombarded by RPG's and small arms fire which was so close that we could smell the powder burning as they went over. We were so close to the ground that we left our body prints in the mud. I was so sure that we were going to die that night. I felt as though there were two hands pressing me down even tighter. I made my way to Lt. Hampton. I relayed the coordinates, and we called in artillery on fire positions. When the operation was over the next day, I noticed that my uniform, which was OD green, had turned white on the back where it felt as if someone were holding me down. I have never been able to forget about that to this day.
WHAT ACHIEVEMENT(S) ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF FROM YOUR MILITARY CAREER? IF YOU RECEIVED ANY MEDALS, AWARDS, FORMAL PRESENTATIONS OR QUALIFICATION BADGES FOR SIGNIFICANT ACHIEVEMENT OR VALOR, PLEASE DESCRIBE HOW THESE WERE EARNED.
My Combat Infantry Badge.

This was my first time being in a hostile combat zone under enemy fire and was very intense. Additionally, I was the only one in my family who ever received the CIB.
WHICH INDIVIDUAL(S) FROM YOUR TIME IN THE MILITARY STAND OUT AS HAVING THE MOST POSITIVE IMPACT ON YOU AND WHY?
The one that has always stood out the most was the First Sergeant that I had when I was in A Co, 1st Battalion, 50th Infantry, (Mech) 2nd Armored Division at Fort Hood, Texas. At the time, 1SG Raymond Alegria, now retired CSM, conditioned people, found their good points, and let you know that he really cared about what you were doing. He'd say to you, "Let's walk over here for a minute." Then, he would commend you personally. He was a dedicated NCO who cared about his troopers and their well being.
CAN YOU RECOUNT A PARTICULAR INCIDENT FROM YOUR SERVICE WHICH MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE BEEN FUNNY AT THE TIME, BUT STILL MAKES YOU LAUGH?
The funniest thing that I ever happened that sticks in my mind is when I and Raymond Baumgarner, two young Staff Sergeants, were attending Vietnamese Language School, at Fort Bliss, Texas. Ray and I bonded and became super good friends. We were always laughing, cutting up and acting like teenagers at the time. The Vietnamese teacher was trying her best to teach us two old southern boys Vietnamese language. Every time she would say something in Vietnamese, she would ask us to repeat it. Every time that we would try to repeat it, it would somehow come out the wrong way when we tried to repeat it. She did not care for this. She would look at us and say something to us in Vietnamese that we could not understand. We finally got to her one day and she couldn't handle anymore. Finally, she threw her hands up, threw her book on the desk and scuffled out of the room real fast. Ray and I just laughed our butts off. She came back escorted by the language school, Sergeant Major. He stood over, looked at Ray and I dead in the eyes and had a kind of "you boys are mine grin" on his face. Needless to say the rest of that class, Ray and I were model students. When class was dismissed, the Sergeant Major said, "Are you two lads following me?" We responded, "True Sergeant Major, we are right with you." We went to his office. Ray and I knew we were in deep trouble. We were thinking, what are they going to do? Send us to Vietnam. He gave us a really good speech that lasted about 30 minutes and explained to us about how we were hand selected, and how we could save troops and that it is a privilege and honor to be combat advisers. After an ass chewing, our attitudes changed a lot. We realized that we were being selfish, so we really knuckled down and did our thing.
WHAT PROFESSION DID YOU FOLLOW AFTER YOUR MILITARY SERVICE AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW? IF YOU ARE CURRENTLY SERVING, WHAT IS YOUR PRESENT OCCUPATIONAL SPECIALTY?
After the service, I pursued loss prevention and security. Then I worked part time at Ace Hardware in Bethalto, IL. I really enjoyed this as it gives me an opportunity to help people. It gave me a chance to talk to many veterans and active duty personnel which are the one thing that I really do enjoy. I now enjoy full retirement with the grandkids and great grandkids.
WHAT MILITARY ASSOCIATIONS ARE YOU A MEMBER OF, IF ANY? WHAT SPECIFIC BENEFITS DO YOU DERIVE FROM YOUR MEMBERSHIPS?
Yes, I belong to CIB (Combat Infantry Badge) Association, VFW (lifetime member), and American Legion.
IN WHAT WAYS HAS SERVING IN THE MILITARY INFLUENCED THE WAY YOU HAVE APPROACHED YOUR LIFE AND YOUR CAREER? WHAT DO YOU MISS MOST ABOUT YOUR TIME IN THE SERVICE?
The Army gave me leadership abilities for one. It gave me confidence and a better understanding of how to lead people and to organize tasks for civilians or Soldiers. It also changed my outlook on life in general. We have to live every day as it is our last day because it could be.
BASED ON YOUR OWN EXPERIENCES, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO THOSE WHO HAVE RECENTLY JOINED THE ARMY?
Follow instructions that your NCO's give you while living in combat every day. Remember that in combat, live every day as if it is your last, it very well could be. Always train the trainee so that someday the trainee will become the trainer. Anytime you get a chance to help a soldier unlock his potential, do it and do it well.
IN WHAT WAYS HAS TOGETHERWESERVED.COM HELPED YOU REMEMBER YOUR MILITARY SERVICE AND THE FRIENDS YOU SERVED WITH.
1SG Thomas M. Hackler, Sr. (Hack-Attack) - In what ways has TogetherWeServed.com helped you remember your military service and the friends you served with.
TWS and the US Army
Through TWS, I have located many of my old comrades and Soldiers that I knew throughout my military career. Re-establishing contact with them has been invaluable. I have also enjoyed being a member of the ATAG team and helping members with their profiles. In doing so, it has allowed me to meet many other Troopers and family members and to make many new friends. My goal now is to help others, as well as TWS management, make TogetherWeServed.com the #1 military site in the country.

DS 7/19/17

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