Benjamin T. Hacker was born September 19, 1935 in Washington, D.C. He was a graduate of Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, in 1957 with a B.A. Degree in Science. After completing Aviation Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Florida in September 1958, he was commissioned Ensign and subsequently received the designation of Naval Flight Officer. Rear Admiral Hacker's experience as a Tactical Coordinator in P2V "Neptune" and P3C "Orion" aircraft included numerous operational assignments in the far reaches of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and Mediterranean Sea.
He took command of the U.S. Naval Facility, Barbados, West Indies in 1968. In 1972 he established the Naval ROTC Unit at Florida A & M University, Tallahassee, Florida and served as the first Commanding Officer and Professor of Naval Science of this unit. In 1974 he became Commanding Officer of Patrol Squadron TWENTY-FOUR, a P3C "Orion" Squadron stationed in Jacksonville, Florida.
In June 1978 he completed studies in National Security Policy at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, and earned a Masters of Science Degree in Administration from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. In August 1978 he was assigned as Commanding Officer, Naval Air Station, Brunswick, Maine.
In 1980 Rear Admiral Hacker was selected for flag rank, and assumed duties as Commander, U.S. Military Enlistment Processing Command with headquarters in Fort Sheridan, Illinois. 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. In 1988, at the completion of his assignment as Commander Naval Base San Diego, Rear Admiral Hacker retired from the U.S. Navy.
Rear Admiral Hacker was the first Naval Flight Officer to be selected for Flag Rank in the United States Navy. He held ten commands over the course of his 30 year military career. Included among Rear Admiral Hacker's personal decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with three Gold Stars, and the Meritorious Service Medal.
After retiring from the Navy, he served with USAA as assistant vice president for policy service at the organization's western regional office in Sacramento.
In the early 1990s, at the request of then Governor Pete Wilson he served for one year as director of the California Department of Veterans Affairs and then rejoined USAA as regional vice president and general manager of its western region. He moved to San Antonio in his next post in December 1995.
He also held posts as Regional Senior Vice President/General Manager in the company's Mid-Atlantic Region headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia. Rear Admiral Hacker retired from USAA in 1998 but continued to serve on various local and national Boards.
In December of 2003 Rear Admiral Hacker passed away from complications relating to Leukemia which he battled for 12 years.