Born February 19, 1946, in Pensacola, Florida, Phillip M. Hadden joined the Army in 1964. Graduating from Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, as a Motor Transport Operator, he served briefly in Hawaii followed by a tour of duty in Chu Chi, Republic of Vietnam, from 1965 to 1966 with Bravo Company, 25th Supply and Transport Battalion, supporting the 25th Infantry Division.
Hadden then served from 1967 to 1968 at Fort Polk, Louisiana, but was soon enroute to Alaska to serve in the 521st Transportation Company, Fort Richardson. While there he transferred to the Ordnance Corps, becoming Motor Sergeant for the 56th Military Police Company. He turned a poorly trained, ill-disciplined maintenance section into a cohesive, effective team while improving the operational readiness rate of the company's fleet of 90 vehicles by 10 percent. Hadden next served from 1971 to 1972 as Motor Sergeant for the 110th Quartermaster Company at Fort Stewart, Georgia.
Based on his proven leadership skills, Hadden was selected to be a Drill Sergeant in Alpha Company, 3d Training Battalion, 2d Brigade, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, one of relatively few combat service support Soldiers to be so chosen. In 1975 he returned to his duties as a Motor Sergeant, first with the 9th Medical Battalion at Fort Lewis, Washington, and then with the US Army Port of Pusan, Korea. His superior performance as a drill sergeant then led to an unprecedented second tour of drill sergeant duty, this time as the Senior Drill Instructor for Alpha Company, 4th Training Battalion, 3d Training Brigade, Fort Leonard Wood, from 1978 to 1981.
Hadden next served as Motor Sergeant and Platoon Sergeant in Charlie Company, 16th Engineer Battalion in Germany. He was chosen over more senior engineer noncommissioned officers to be the First Sergeant of the company and then First Sergeant of Delta Company, both line engineer companies. He next served as First Sergeant of Headquarters and Alpha Company, 123d Maintenance Battalion, 1st Armored Division, from 1984 to 1985 at Fuerth, Germany. He was instrumental in reorganizing that unit under the Division 86 model into Charlie Company, 123d Main Support Battalion.
From 1985 to 1986 Hadden served as the first Commandant of the Noncommissioned Officer School of Ordnance at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), Maryland, the predecessor of the Noncommissioned Officer Academy, which still sustains the high standards he set as a benchmark. From 1986 to 1987, Hadden served as Operations Sergeant Major for the School Brigade at Aberdeen Proving Ground, which was redesignated the 61st Ordnance Brigade in 1986. In addition to the daily mission of planning and resourcing training, Hadden used his experience as a drill sergeant to implement the Army's plan to integrate drill sergeants into the AIT companies.
Hadden was next selected to serve, from 1988 to 1989, as Command Sergeant Major of the 61st Ordnance Brigade's 601st Ordnance Battalion at APG, responsible for permanent party personnel in the Weapons and Metalworking Services Departments and three AIT companies. In his final assignment, he stepped up to serve as the 61st Ordnance Brigade's Command Sergeant Major from 1989 to 1990, chosen for this key position over more senior sergeants major. Command Sgt. Maj. Hadden retired in 1990 after 26 years of dedicated service to the US Army and the Ordnance Corps.