Douglas M. Hackett, 83, died Friday, 6 October 2023 from COVID at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, MD. Born 27 May 1940 to Myron and Evelyn Hackett in Flushing, New York, he graduated from Brown University in 1961 with a degree in international relations on a Naval ROTC scholarship. He graduated with distinction from the Defense Intelligence College and earned a master’s degree in technology management at John Hopkins University.
Mr. Hackett was a retired Commander in the U.S. Navy, having served in Naval Intelligence for most of his career. He began his career as a surface warfare officer on the destroyer USS McCaffery (DD-860), participating in the Cuban Missile Crisis. He was an intelligence officer on the aircraft carrier USS America (CV-66) in the mid-1970s, and the primary intelligence analyst for the Chief of Naval Operations during the Pueblo Incident. His analysis proved that the USS Pueblo (AGER-2) was hijacked in international waters and that the North Korean allegations of intrusion were false, for which the Navy awarded him the Navy Commendation Medal. He served in Vietnam twice, first as an intelligence analyst for Commander Naval Forces Vietnam in Saigon, for which he was awarded the Bronze Star, and also as an intelligence officer on the cruiser USS Newport News (CA-148) during the surface attack on Haiphong Harbor in 1972, for which he was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal. Other Navy assignments included the guided missile test ship USS Observation Island (EAG-154), NATO, Naval Intelligence Command, Naval Investigative Service, Carrier Group Seven, and Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command. Upon retirement from the Navy, he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal. Other decorations include the Combat Action Ribbon, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Navy Expeditionary Medal, and the Vietnam Campaign Medal.
After retiring from the Navy, Mr. Hackett was employed for 15 years by GTE Corporation as a program manager, where he did requirements analysis and architecture development for DoD intelligence related communications systems.
Mr. Hackett was an Eagle Scout, Order of the Arrow, and Wood badge. He attended the National Scout Jamboree at Valley Forge and the World Scout Jamboree in England in 1957. He served as an adult scout leader in New York, Rhode Island, and Virginia. Mr. Hackett was a long-time member of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Bethesda, Maryland, serving as president of the church council four times. He was Herr Biermeister for the men’s fellowship group, the Martin Luther Beer and Marching Society.
Mr. Hackett was a member of the Naval Intelligence Professionals, U.S. Naval Institute, Pentagon Ski Club, Smithsonian Associates, C&O Canal Association, he volunteered with Wounded Warriors, and was a plank owner of the U.S. Navy Memorial. His hobbies included reading (history and intelligence), running (he completed three marathons), golf, cooking, and crossword puzzles (NY Times, in ink). He was an avid skier, skiing in Colorado, Austria, Italy, and France.
His marriages to the former Barbara Funk and Carole Andrews ended in divorce. He is survived by son Gary Hackett of Hamilton, New Zealand, daughter Kyle Hackett Smith and her husband, Edwin Smith, of Hamilton, New Zealand, and daughter Nancy Hackett Harrison and her husband, Kenneth L. Harrison of Boulder, Colorado as well as four grandchildren: Gary’s son, Ridge Hackett and his wife, Sarah, and Trista Hackett, both of Mancos, Colorado, and Kyle’s daughters, Kia Smith and Cali Smith, both of Hamilton, New Zealand. He is also survived by longtime companion, Susan Little.
A memorial service will be held at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 7730 Bradley Blvd, Bethesda, MD on Thursday, 19 October 2023 at 11 a.m.
Interment will be held at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.