Rear Admiral Benjamin T. Hacker

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HACKER, REAR ADMIRAL BENJAMIN T.

Rear Admiral Benjamin T. Hacker, USN (Ret.), age 68, of Norfolk, VA, passed away on December 28, 2003 at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

Born in Washington, DC, he was a graduate of Wittenburg University in Springfield, OH. After completing Aviation Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, FL, he was commissioned Ensign in 1958. He was selected for flag rank in the US Navy in 1980, 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, Sixth Fleet; and Commander Maritime Air Forces Mediterranean with headquarters in Naples, Italy.

After retiring from the United States Navy in 1988, he served as the director of the California Department of Veterans Affairs and also held posts as a Regional Senior Vice President/General Manager for United Services Automobile Association (USAA) in the company's Western Region headquartered in Sacramento, CA, and Mid-Atlantic Region, headquartered in Norfolk, VA. Rear Admiral Hacker retired from the USAA in 1998 and served on numerous local and national boards.

Rear Admiral Hacker was the first Naval Flight Officer in the US Navy to be selected for Flag Rank. 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 his own life example, he symbolized what was right about the United States military, what was noblest and best. Throughout his military and professional careers he worked tirelessly in support of equal opportunity initiatives. His life touched countless people and his efforts paved the way for many to follow.

A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m, Saturday, January 3, 2004 at Bank Street Memorial Baptist Church, Norfolk, VA. Viewing will begin at 3 p.m., prior to the service. A funeral will be held at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors at a date yet to be determined.

Admiral Hacker is survived by his wife, Jeanne; mother, Alzeda, and three children, Benjamin Jr., Bruce and Anne. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of American (http://www.leukemia-lymphoma.org), 1311 Mamaroneck Ave., White Plains, NY 10605 in memory of Rear Admiral Benjamin T. Hacker.

Published in The Washington Post on Dec. 31, 2003