Sgt David Hack - Sgt David Hack, CEO of US wings
Seriously wounded in Vietnam, Sgt. David Hack spent more than a year in rehabilitation before he was able to put on his uniform and return to his pre-combat duty as an army recruiter. He adopted an unconventional approach to recruiting during a period when the military’s popularity in the United States was at an all-time low, fitting out an old Army Jeep with numerous modern enhancements, including a red, white, and blue paint job, red vinyl seats, and 16” chrome wheels. The Jeep helped Sgt. Hack open communication with the young men of Ohio’s Cuyahoga County, and he engaged them on their topics of choice before honestly discussing the realities of life in the US Army. Using this innovative approach, Sgt. David Hack consistently exceeded recruitment quotas and won recognition as the Army’s top recruiter four years in a row.
After retiring from the Army and spending years in law enforcement, during which time he rose to the rank of Chief of Police of Sebring, Ohio, David Hack moved to Florida, where he fell in love and married. In 1986, he saw a store on the Fort Myers boardwalk that was going out of business. Interested in selling the store’s inventory of bomber jackets, he wound up buying the entire inventory and the company name, US Wings. Hack and his wife Lani moved to Ohio with their daughter Brittany to start their new company, making and selling high-quality leather bomber jackets on the Internet.
The story of Sgt. David Hack’s company, US Wings, is a textbook case among students of Internet entrepreneurship as one of the very first companies to use the Internet to achieve success. Sgt. Hack combined the Internet’s power with the marketing savvy he learned as a recruiter, adding free scarves and caps when delivering jackets to customers. The scarves and jackets were of such high quality that a market developed for them as well; they are now among the most popular items in US Wings’ catalog.