US ARMY PILOT
Chief Warrant Officer Five (CW5) Michael W. Hardy was born in Washington, DC and grew up on Flack Street in Wheaton, MD. After graduating high school, he decided to join the military. He enlisted in the Army in April of 1986 as a 19D, Cavalry Scout. During his time as a Cavalry Scout, CW5 Hardy had the opportunity to witness pilots wearing Night Vision Goggles (NVGs) in a Utility Helicopter (UH-1), also known as the Huey. He was fascinated by what he witnessed and aspired to become a pilot. CW5 Hardy had no experience flying and felt his dream of becoming a pilot would never happen. After serving two and a half years as a Cavalry Scout, CW5 Hardy decided to separate from the military. Shortly after leaving the Army, CW5 Hardy reported back to a local recruiter in the inactive reserve. At this time, he voiced his desire to become a pilot. In 1989, he was selected to attend Flight School and graduated on 9 May 1990 at Fort Rucker, Alabama. CW5 Hardy’s assignments include being a UH-1 pilot with Echo Company, 4-4 Aviation Battalion, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado; UH-60A Pilot in Command at 1/229th Attack Helicopter Battalion, 229th Attack Helicopter Regiment, Fort Bragg, North Carolina; UH-60A/L Night Vision Goggle and No-Fly Line Unit Trainer at Alpha Company, 2-2 Aviation Battalion, Camp Stanley, Korea; UH-60L Instructor Pilot with Alpha Company, 4-101st, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Multi-mission Helicopter-60K (MH-60K) Fully Mission Qualified Pilot with Charlie Company 1-160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) Airborne (Abn), Platoon Standardization Pilot, Company Standardization Instructor Pilot, and Regiment Flight Lead Pilot in Delta Company, 1-160th SOAR (Abn). CW5 Hardy was also assigned to Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron-One at Yuma Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, Arizona, where he served as a UH-1 Instructor Pilot and Subject Matter Expert for UH-1 Flight Planning Systems, Raid Planning and Execution, Joint Special Operations, and US Army Aviation from August 2007 to August 2010. CW5 Hardy returned to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and served as the Delta Company, 1-160th SOAR (Abn) Operations Officer before being selected as the Battalion Senior Warrant Officer for 1-160th SOAR (Abn) from October 2013 to June 2016. He was then selected as the 6th Regiment Command Chief Warrant Officer for the 160th SOAR (Abn) from June of 2016 to September of 2018. His next assignment was with Charlie Company 2-160th SOAR (Abn) as a Flight Lead and Standardization Pilot. He served in multiple combat tours deployed in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM, IRAQI FREEDOM, INHERENT RESOLVE, FREEDOM SENTINEL, and additional overseas contingency operations. CW5 Hardy is currently assigned to Charlie Company 1-160th SOAR (Abn) as a Flight Lead and MH-60M Standardization Pilot with over 6,500 Rotary Wing flight hours and 3,250 NVG hours. During his 38 combat deployments, he has completed over 500 combat missions amassing over 1,500 combat hours in support of both US Special Operations Forces and Coalition Partners. His awards include the Legion of Merit (with one oak leaf cluster (OLC)), Distinguished Flying Cross (w/3 OLC), Bronze Star Medal (w/4 OLC), Meritorious Service Medal (w/2 OLC), Air Medal (w/“V” Device x 2), and Air Medal (w/Numeral 12). Due to his leadership and technical expertise, CW5 Hardy was named the Army Aviation Association of America 2012 Aviator of the Year. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Executive Leadership from Liberty University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. CW5 Hardy and his wife, Betty, have 2 daughters, Tyler and Jordan.