Hadar, Steven (SPH), 2nd Platoon

Hadar, Steven (SPH), 2nd Platoon

After graduating from TBS, I reported for flight training at Pensacola, and was designated a Naval Aviator on my birthday, June 5, 1969; and joined HMM-261 at MCAS (H), New River where I received training as copilot in the CH-46.

In February 1970, I reported to the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing and was assigned to HMM-263 at Marble Mountain, Republic of Vietnam. Qualifying as a Helicopter Aircraft Commander after three months, I logged 320 combat hours in the CH-46. Following a six- month tour in the Vietnam, I spent six months with H&MS-17 at Iwakuni, Japan, flying the C-117.

Returning to the United States I received multi-engine transition training and was promoted to Captain. During the following three-year tour at NAS Glynco, GA, I flew the S-2 as the Officer in Charge of the Flight Support Division, and later graduated with honors from the Air Traffic Control (Officers) Course and was assigned as Course Officer of the Air Traffic Control School.

In August 74, I reported to the Amphibious Warfare School. After AWS I received orders to the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, MCAS, Cherry Point, NC where I qualified as aircraft commander in the KC-130 aircraft and served as Operations Officer of H&MS-27, and later, as the S-4 Officer of VMGR-252.

Returning to WesPac in March 1977, I was assigned to VMGR-152 in Okinawa, and the following February, promoted to Major. After a 16-month overseas tour, I received orders to the 3d Marine Aircraft Wing on the West Coast. After attending the Navy Post Graduate School, I became the Director of the Safety and Standardization Department in VMGR-352. Then in 1979 I became Director of the KC-130 School. Continuing to add to the graduate credits received at the Navy Post Graduate School, I earned a Master of Arts degree from Pepperdine University in May 1981.

Next I attended Command and Staff College at Quantico. After graduation I returned to the 3d MAW as the S-4 of MWSG-37 for six months. In January 1983, I was advanced to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and assumed command of MWHS-3. Being the Commanding Officer of a squadron of a thousand of “our nation’s finest” was the best job ever!

After 19 months as CO, and a year on the General Staff, I reported to CG of 1st MAW in Okinawa for a year’s duty as the Aviation Safety Officer.

Returning to Quantico, I joined the faculty of the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and was promoted to Chief of Academics after two years. I also enjoyed being on the editorial board of the Marine Corps Gazette and leading seminars at the Russell Leadership Conferences at the FBI Academy. After three years at Quantico, I reported to the CG of the 1st Marine Division as the Assistant G3.

Not being selected for Colonel, I resigned my commission and retired in August 1990.

Awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, 27 Air Medals, a Meritorious Unit Commendation, a National Defense Service Medal, a Vietnam Service Medal with two bronze stars, a Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and a Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Gold Star.

Briefly, in the next 25 years I was:
– President of Eagles Unlimited, a corporate training service that included Team Building with the MBTI, Time Management, Goal Setting, Personal Development, and Leadership and Management.
– Associate Director of Senior Psychology Services which provided psychological services to seniors in long-term-care facilities.
– Director of The American Institute of Anti-aging.
– Vice-president of Sales and Marketing of Wieland Sliding Glass Doors and Windows.
– A published writer of two short stories, and writer and co-producer of several TV commercials and 30-minute infomercials.
– Assistant Professor at Newport University, conducting off-site training and seminars as far afield as Singapore and Malaysia.
– A full-time art student, obtaining a college degree in Pictorial Arts.
– An award winning professional artist
– A Real Estate Agent and Vacation Sales Manager.

After living 25 years in San Diego County, California, I recently bought and moved to a house (and art studio) on Tablerock Lake near Branson, Missouri. I am a father of three men and a grandfather of a brilliant grandson and a beautiful, talented granddaughter

Hagan, John Robert (Bob), 2nd Platoon

Hagan, John Robert (Bob), 2nd Platoon

22 August 1945 – 06 May 1969
Arlington National Cemetery, VA 22212

Major John Robert Hagan was born on August 22, 1945. His hometown was Savannah, GA. He attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN earning his BS in Civil Engineering in June 1967. While at Vanderbilt, John was in the NROTC program with a Marine Corps option and attended the USMC 6-week Bulldog Platoon Leaders Class (PLC) Program, between his Junior and Senior years, at MCB Quantico, VA.

Bob accepted a regular commission upon graduation from Vanderbilt University and reported to Officers Basic School Class 1-68 Alpha Company 2nd Platoon, in June 1967. Late in the course, Bob received his Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) assignment of 0301, Basic Infantry Officer and orders to report to Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, Western Pacific Ground Forces following graduation. The class graduated on 22 November 1967.

Arriving in DaNang in January 1968 his ultimate assignment was to G Company, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment (G/2/9). Finishing up his first tour in Vietnam, Bob signed up for a six month tour extension as an AO in VMO-6. On the 6 May 1969, Bob’s plane failed to return to base. A search effort was conducted to no avail. Bob was listed as MIA. On 29 March 1996 his remains were recovered and returned to US soil and interred at Arlington Nat’l Cemetery. John was posthumously awarded the Silver Star Medal for his actions in Vietnam.

USMC Resume:
TBS Class 1-68 Alpha Company, 2th Platoon June-Nov 1967
Vietnam: Jan 1968 – May 1969
Company G, 2d Battalion, 9th Marines, 3d Marine Division (Rein.), FMF, first tour
VMO-6, 2nd tour
Timeline: 06 May 1969 crashed – MIA; 31 March 1978 presumed dead; 29 March 1996 Remains recovered and returned to US soil; 01 Nov 1996 remains identified; remains interred at Arlington Nat’l Cemetery
Silver Star, Purple Heart

John Robert Hagen was awarded a silver star for gallantry in action during the Vietnam War.
“The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to John R. Hagan (257666152), Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Company G, 2d Battalion, 9th Marines, 3d Marine Division (Rein.), FMF, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam on April 19, 1968. By his courage, aggressive fighting spirit and steadfast devotion to duty in the face of extreme personal danger, Second Lieutenant Hagan upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.”

Personal Reflections about John Hagen:

From John Ames, 8 Apr 2015: “Bob [John Robert Hagen] and I ran into each other (literally) outside BOQ 711 in NAS Jacksonville, Florida on 15 July 1963.  (Amazing I can remember things such as that and not remember what I did two days ago!)  We were NROTC Midshipmen, Bob attending Vanderbilt University, my attending the University of Louisville.  We were at NAS Jax for a week of Anti-Submarine Warfare training as part of the NROTC’s 3rd Class Midshipman Cruise to the Med.  Friendship at first sight!  Plus we were on the same ship DD866, The USS Cone, along with several other of our future TBS classmates, most notably Bob Newlin and Bob Packard.

We spent about two months in the Med, with great ports of call, Valencia, Marseilles, Ajaccio and Naples, before heading back across the Atlantic to Norfolk/Charleston.  A fun time, (sometimes) for 18-19 year old college guys.  However, the NOT-FUN-TIMES helped convince Bob and me to take the Marine Option. 

During the Summer of ’65 we hooked up again in Little Creek, VA for amphib training, followed by NAS Corpus Christi for pre-flight training.  Once again, we were in the same companies, and, once again, some fun and some Not-So-Fun Times.

Summer of ’66 had us at OCS Quantico.  Fewer fun times, but we got through it together across the squad bay from each other in the 2nd deck of the old white barracks right next to the train tracks by the air station.  Cheever bunked above Bob; Mike Evans was above me.

Bob could run forever but the ropes and pull up bars were NOT Bob’s friends.  To add to the three times/day ritual of pull ups before/after chow, candidates from 1st platoon would scramble to get out of Hagan’s file, since we all had to hand in the “up” pull up position until all in the file completed the pull “up.”  After Bob’s two, any more pull ups were problematical – plus the instructors, to great and often humorous delights, berated his efforts i.e. (“Hagan it looks like you’re having a baby”).

We made it to getting “released” at 0330 on 3 September ‘66.  Free at last, until next June when we converged to Class 1-68, TBS! 

As we all remember, Vietnam was going full blast, and we had crammed more training hours into less training days so the lieutenants could assume their duties as quickly as possible.

Bob, Al Greishaber and I were roommates, until 2 September 67 when, after Hagan’s constant badgering me to get married, I did. Bob and Bob Waller came to Louisville to be in the wedding and part of the sword arch – Bob was our best man.    

He charmed every member of my wife’s South Carolinian-rooted family. 

Bob was concerned that Vietnam would end before he got there, so when we graduated that Wednesday before Thanksgiving ’67, he took minimal leave before heading to Westpac.

True to form he got to 3rd Mardiv around TET ‘68 and was given a platoon in G/2/9, mainly along Highway 9, Ca Lu etc., not surprising anyone getting a Silver Star in April ‘68, and, equally not surprisingly, two Purple Hearts along the way.

For the latter he was taken out of the field and brought to Dong Ha for an administrative job, I think, at Division.  He hated it and he made everyone’s life miserable until ultimately the powers that be approved his request to be an AO in a teeny O1G Bird Dog with VMO-6. 

Bob enjoyed this job – I still have no idea how he fit his 6’5” body in the back of that, in essence, Piper Cub.

One special moment, 30 January 69, I was going to meet my lovely bride in Hawaii on R&R.  Waiting in those long lines at Danang Airport to board the Continental jet to Honolulu, I noticed a huge red haired guy in an adjacent long line waiting to board a Pan Am jet.  Sure enough, Bob Hagan, going home for his mandatory 30 day leave – he had extended his tour of duty for six months.  He was not happy about this and tried not to go back to the USA, his choice of leave location. But go back he did, and in doing so met a young lady and fell in love on his way to his home in Savannah.

We hooked up in late March ’68 after his extension leave, whereupon he confided that for his first thirteen month tour, he just did his job – pretty loosely – not having a wife or girlfriend waiting on him, without familial or personal relationship pressures. 

Now, in his words “Ski I ain’t gonna make it back partner – I have something I care about and want to live for.”  It was one of, if not the last time I saw him (though we would chat from time to time when both of us were near comm.). 

Prophetically, on 6 May 68 his observation plane was lost.  I was rotating home right after that and called VMO-6 to say goodbye to Bob.  The Duty officer said “There is no Lt. Hagan at this squadron,” whereupon I talked to the C.O. who confirmed Bob’s aircraft was lost and they had an intensive search underway.

Fast forward to May 2007, the lobby of the 5 Star Furama Resort in My Anh Beach, Danang, Vietnam.  I had been invited to speak to Vietnamese Government & Business leaders on U.S. Chapter 11 reorganizations (my legal specialty).  Seems U.S. companies were taking chapter 11 bankruptcies in the U.S. leaving Vietnamese companies holding the bag for millions of dollars.  I lectured in Hanoi and Saigon, two cities I had never visited in ’68-’69. 

The third lecture site was Danang.  I had “visited,” Danang, it was where by unit, 5th Comm BN HQ was located between MAG-16 and China Beach.  Lo and behold a 5 star resort hotel was built directly over the 5th Comm BN site.  The resort’s infinity pools were where the Ops bunker was.

I noticed four Americans at breakfast and heard “Gunnery Sergeant” mentioned.  Later I ran into them in the lobby, and I found they worked for JPAC trying to locate the remains of our service members lost in the war.  As we chatted, I asked “Dumb question, but can you give me any word on my best man, Bob Hagan.  He was reported MIA 6 May ’69.

Looking at his computer, he was shocked to see that the guy who worked in the DIG for the pilot and Bob’s remains in ’94 was one, Bob Maves, who was just coming in the lobby – Mr. Maves amazingly remembered the find – it was the first dig he commanded.

What could be the chances of running into this JPAC team, in this luxury hotel built over my 5th Comm BN HQ, and having the very gentlemen responsible for bringing Bob’s remains home ….. A miracle?  I’d say so.

Bob’s remains were identified in 1996 and his internment then took place in Arlington National Cemetery, Section 37 Site 37.

So ends a “brief” synopsis of my personal reflections of my best friend, as well as best man, John Robert Hagan.  Rest in peace, my friend.”

Hammett, Ted (TMH), 2nd Platoon

Hammett, Ted (TMH), 2nd Platoon
Theodore Hammett, PhD

Theodore Hammett, PhD

– I came to the Marine Corps in a peculiar way, primarily through the agency of my father who had been a Marine infantry platoon commander in the Pacific in World War II and apparently wanted me to do everything that he had done. He suggested that I sign up for Platoon Leaders Class, which I did in late 1963 while a freshman at Harvard. To make a long and complicated story short, despite my growing opposition to the war in Vietnam I completed the PLC program in 1966 and joined TBS 1-68 in June 1967 a few weeks after my commissioning and college graduation.

– It became clear quite soon that I was not to be a model Marine officer. My second platoon friends, including roommate Jeff Hansen, teased me about my unorthodox views and my taste in music. Bill “Roc” Ganter, who I was sad to learn recently has passed away, dubbed me the “Harvard Hindu.” Captain McMahon gave me no end of grief about my poor shaving, uniform screw-ups, and other foibles. My memories of Quantico include being hopelessly lost during land navigation and the “all-night war.”

– In its wisdom, the Marine Corps recognized my unfitness to be a platoon commander and complied with my request to be assigned to supply. I served for 13 months as Marine supply officer for 3rd Medical Bn, 3rd Mar Div first in Phu Bai and then in Quang Tri. I saw no combat and was in no danger whatsoever with the exception of a few rocket attacks and accompanying Sam Easton (also in 2nd platoon, TBS 1-68),  who was serving as paymaster for his artillery unit, on a foolhardy overnight trip to Fire Support Base Russell near the DMZ, which had been overrun by the NVA the night before.

– Otherwise, I stayed drunk as much as I could, got into arguments with the Navy doctors about the war, stole plywood from the Seabees and, on one occasion, mattresses from the in-country R&R center at China Beach so that my men, with whom I had convoyed to Danang for supplies, spent the afternoon drinking on the beach would have places to sleep. They were denied beds at the R&R Center.

– We were caught by the MPs as we tried to leave the base and I mouthed off obscenely to the Navy officer of the day.  Later, I was given a verbal reprimand by the Division. Roc and I had an enjoyable R&R in Sydney over Christmas 1968 and, remarkably, I stopped smoking in early 1969 to get rid of an uncontrollable cough partially induced by the dust in Quang Tri. I have never smoked a cigarette since.

– I left Vietnam in April 1969, after almost missing my flight due to an alcohol-blurred trip from Quang Tri to Danang by jeep (with a stopover to play poker with some Army guys at Camp Evans) and plane and a long night in the Air Force’s Gunfighters’ Club.

– I returned home to my girlfriend Nancy, who was in graduate school in economics at the University of Wisconsin and heavily involved in anti-war and other political activity in Madison. We were married in February 1970 and spent the first six months of our marriage at Camp Lejeune.

– After my release from active duty in June 1970, Nancy and I spent the summer traveling in Europe and then I began a Ph.D. program in American History at Brandeis. After getting my degree I taught history for a few years but succumbed to the terrible job market and in 1979 took a job with Abt Associates, a research and consulting firm headquartered in Cambridge. I have been at Abt for 35 years. I started out doing research on the criminal justice system and then moved on to work on AIDS issues in prisons and among people who use drugs and their sexual partners, initially in the U.S. and then, starting in the late 1990s, in Asia.

– For nine years, I directed an HIV prevention program for people who inject drugs in Northern Vietnam and Southern China. When Abt won a USAID-funded HIV/AIDS policy project in Vietnam, Nancy and I moved to Hanoi where we lived for 3 ½ years from 2008 to 2012. It was a wonderful experience on multiple dimensions.

– Vietnam is an incredibly interesting, beautiful, and welcoming country. I know that many of my TBS compatriots had very bad experiences in Vietnam but I hope that some of you have had the opportunity to go back since the war and would urge as many of you as can to visit the country. This can be very moving and fulfilling, as it has been for many veterans. As I write, I am looking forward to a two-week working trip to Vietnam in March, during which I hope to see many of my Vietnamese colleagues and friends. When I retire, if I ever do, I hope to write a book about my times in Vietnam. It is tentatively titled “Two Tours.”

– Nancy and I have now been married 45 years and we have a wonderful daughter Abigail, who is 33 years old and works as an architect in San Francisco. We see her as often as we can and hope she will return to the East Coast one day.

– We have lived in the Boston area, with three interruptions, since 1963. Despite having been raised elsewhere, we are died-in-the-wool New Englanders and we love it here, even though this winter has been somewhat trying. I am very involved in my Episcopal parish in Cambridge and we are avid fans of the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, and Bruins as well as the Harvard football, basketball, and hockey teams. For a long time I was a runner and did 18 Boston Marathons, most recently the 100th in 1996. We have a beautiful and remote (35 miles on a dirt road) summer place on Moosehead Lake in Maine. It is the definition of relaxation.

– Nancy and I feel very lucky to have had interesting and enjoyable lives so far and we hope for a good many more years. I am looking forward to our reunion. I think it will be a fascinating experience.

Theodore Hammett, Ph.D.
Vice President, International Health Policy & Systems
Theodore (Ted) Hammett began his career at Abt Associates in 1979 after several years of teaching college history. He is a Principal Associate in the International Health division, chair of Abt’s Quality Assurance Council and editor of the company’s Thought Leadership Paper Series. He has published widely in peer-reviewed journals and spoken before numerous international conferences.   Dr. Hammett has led projects providing evaluation, policy analysis and technical assistance in public health and criminal justice. Since 1985, he has focused on HIV and AIDS-related projects, domestically and internationally, including research among drug-involved, correctional and prison populations, and other vulnerable groups. From 2001 to 2009, Dr. Hammett directed an innovative Cross-Border HIV prevention project for people who inject drugs in northern Vietnam and southern China and served as Chief of Party for the USAID-funded Health Policy Initiative Vietnam from 2008 to 2012, based in Hanoi. Dr. Hammett holds a B.A. from Harvard College and a Ph.D. from Brandeis University.