Hackworth died on Wednesday at the age of 74 from bladder cancer. He was the youngest full colonel in the Vietnam War, and was reputed to the model for the Col. Kurtz character played by Marlon Brando in the movie Apocalypse Now. He later decried the American military effort in Vietnam. When he left the Army, he moved to Australia where he was active in the peace and disarmament movements. This interview was originally broadcast on April 26, 1989.
Colonel David Hackworth was the model for the character of Kurtz in the film Apocalypse Now. He served in the Vietnam War, and grew frustrated by what he saw as a failure of leadership. Hackworth is currently the most decorated soldier in U.S. history. His new memoir, about his experience on the battlefield and his eventual retirement from the Army, is called About Face.