Lt. Col. Richard D. Hooker

Colonel, Infantry (Retired 1987)

1934 - 2014

Graduate, University of Mississippi, '56,

Final (Eighth) Commander in Vietnam
1st Battalion (Mechanized), 50th Infantry
June 1970 to December 1970

Dick Hooker retired on 1 January 1987 after 30 years and 6 months' service. Commissioned from ROTC at the University of Mississippi in 1956, he initially served with the 82nd Airborne and then with the 8th Division Airborne Brigade in Mainz, Germany until June 1962. Following the advanced infantry officer course at Ft. Benning and one year of Vietnamese language training in Monterey, CA, he began the first of three tours in Vietnam as an advisor to the 2nd Battalion, 8th Regiment, 5th ARVN Division in MR 3, followed by assignment as aide-de-camp to General William Westmoreland, COMUSMACV. He then served as an instructor at the Armored School, Ft. Knox, before attending CGSC and then returning to RVN as G3 Plans Officer, HQ IIFV, Nha Trang.

Prior to completion of his tour with IFFV, Major Hooker was selected to command the 1st Battalion, 50th Infantry (M), then attached to TF South, Phan Thiet, southern MR II. He was promoted to LTC while in the U.S., and returned to assume command of the battalion on 12 June 1970, replacing LTC Robert Luck.

LTC Hooker and selected members of the battalion returned to the U.S. on 14 December 1970, having stood down the battalion and returned the colors to Ft. Hood, Texas.

Following five years in the Pentagon with the Army Staff and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, LTC Hooker was assigned to the U.S. Military Mission to Iran, where he was promoted to Colonel. This assignment was followed by assignments as Army attaché to the Philippines, Deputy Chief of the U.S. Military Training Mission in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and immediately thereafter as Chief, Office of Military Cooperation, Beirut, Lebanon and Senior U.S. Defense Representative to Lebanon.

Having been recalled to active duty for service in Beirut, Colonel Hooker completed his career in Washington as Special Assistant to the Defense Intelligence Officer for Asia, Defense Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon.

His awards and decorations include 3 awards of the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the bronze star, 8 air medals, various meritorious and commendation medals, and the Lebanese Order of the Cedars, Degree of Commander, Vietnamese Medal of Honor, and Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. He has been awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, Master Parachute Badge, Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge, Saudi Arabian Parachute Badge and Philippine Army Parachute badge.

COL Dick Hooker passed away on October 24, 2014. Interment at Arlington National Cemetery will be on April 8, 2015.