Major General Frank A. Hinrichs was born in Stillwater, Oklahoma on July 22, 1918 and graduated from Oklahoma A&M in 1941.
He entered the Ordnance Corps in 1941 and served through 1975. In 1949, he was assigned as planner and organizer for the massive tactical vehicle rebuild program in Japan. This program subsequently gave great support to United Nations Forces during the Korean Conflict.
In the early 1960's, when it became apparent the U.S. Forces would be involved in South East Asia, he initiated the reactivation, renovation, and modernization program of the government-owned ammunition plants that would be needed. As part of this program, he pioneered the Army's “Should Cost” program, which assisted procurement personnel in negotiating contracts with sole source contractors. Under this system, a team of Army representatives would visit the contractor’s plant and evaluate production factors. The Army would then determine how much the production for a specific contract should cost. For his efforts on the “Should Cost” program, Maj. Gen. Hinrich was awarded the Presidential Award for Management Improvement.
In November 1972, he became the Commanding General of the Aviation Systems Command. In this capacity, he guided the early development phases of the Blackhawk and the Heavy-Lift Helicopter. He also supervised the pilot installation and prove-out phase of the Alpha System. The Alpha System is the integrated, automated management system designed to handle all the principal functions required to manage a large commodity. General Hinrichs retired in 1975 and died in 1989.