Sgt. Hack: The Army’s Best Recruiter

Sgt Hack Wants you for the U.S. Army!  This was the mantra of SFC David D. Hack in the early 70’s as he was tasked with recruiting soldiers during the Vietnam war.  His recruiting territory consisted of Akron and surrounding area’s including Kent Ohio home of Kent State University.  Realizing that he needed to be very creative in reaching our nations teens he stepped outside the norm and found ways to reach his kids.

Hack paid $600 for a 1960 Corvette and painted it red, white and blue with stars and reproduced Uncle Sam’s “I want You” poster on the car. He set off the car’s reupholstered bucket seats with brass Army uniform buttons.
Because of the success of the Uncle Sam picture, Hack  added a twist by imprinting several hundred T-shirts with the poster. But instead of saying “I Want You,” Uncle Sam said “Sergeant Hack Wants You.” Hack gave away several hundred before a local marketing firm began selling them. Hack again paid for everything with money out of his pocket.

“The jeep, Corvette, posters and T-shirts were common sense,” Hack explained. “They were nothing fancy. We didn’t have the flag-waving image that we have today. Back then you were making the hardest sale in the world — someone’s life. People were saying they weren’t going into the service and were going to Canada instead.
“Again, they interested people enough that I could at least talk with them. For example, one guy had been called for his pre-induction draft physical. I got his name and called him up. The guy hung up on me. But when I went out to his house in the Corvette, he loosened up and eventually enlisted.”
Sgt. Hack was The Innovator of his time in the military.  For three years, 1970-1973, Sgt. Hack was the #1 Recruiter in the United States military.  Many of the marketing efforts he developed are now duplicated by all the services today in their efforts to recruit soldiers for our military.
If you’d like to read more, check out the original post on Sgt. Hack’s newest blog, here.