We are very saddened by the news of the passing of retired U.S. Marine Corp Lt. Gen. Henry “Hank” C. Stackpole. He served as the President of the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (1998-2005) and most recently as a Chair of the Foundation for the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies.
Before his time at the Center, Lt. Gen. Stackpole honorably served in the Marine Corps for 37 years and was the recipient of many distinguished awards to include the Silver Star, Legion of Merit and the Defense Superior Service Medals. A Princeton Alumni, Hank held numerous commands in the Marine Corps to include Commander of Marine Forces Pacific and Fleet Marine Force and the Joint Task Force Sea Angel.
A number of staff members who served with him at the Center while he was the Director shared their thoughts on how they remember him:
“When I think of Lt. Gen. Stackpole, I see a leader with grace.”
“I have the highest respect for Lt. Gen. Stackpole. I saw a man who would fight to the death for his people.”
“He was a good mentor and a great guy for the Center. He set the standards in the beginning. A super nice guy who wanted to always do the right thing. He understood the value of the Center’s unique role in building relationships with international partners. He was big in developing these relationships face-to-face.”
“Something you may not know about Lt. Gen. Stackpole, he did such an awesome job as the JTF Commander for Operation Sea Angel that the people from Bangladesh named a school after him!”
“While at Princeton, he excelled in football and baseball. I remember how well he spoke and I asked him about that one day. He said it came from the time he was at Princeton and was a sports announcer for their hockey and basketball games.”
“He was a great leader who was never afraid to speak his mind and always had the courage to tell the truth no matter what the consequences.”
“Last awesome reflection on Hank by one of our ohana – he was actually listed Killed in Action (KIA) during his time in Vietnam. A Chaplain noticed a hand twitch from one of the cadavers in the morgue. After closer inspection, they realized that the person was alive. That person was CAPT Hank Stackpole, USMC! That Marine recovered, continued to serve and ended up getting 3 Stars. I didn’t hear that story from General Stackpole, I heard it from a Medal of Honor winner who was singling Hank Stackpole out at a Memorial Day service. … Hank got a standing ovation.”
In a statement to Center employees, Director Pete Gumataotao said: “We will miss you Hank and as evident from the reflections by those that served with you at our Center – you were already light-years ahead in living Ike Pono one small Aloha step at a time. Semper Fi Hank, Semper Fi Marine!”
Our deepest condolences to Mrs. Vivien Stackpole, his wife of more than 55 years. Our thoughts and prayers for her loss.