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Featured Alumnus:Michael D. Hardee

Rear Admiral Michael Hardee assumed his duties as Commander, Naval Air Forces' Commander of Fleet Readiness Centers in October 2006 and NAVAIR's Assistant Commander for Logistics & Industrial Operations in September 2007. He is the person responsible for decreasing turnaround time for aircraft maintenance, which improves the Navy's ability to maintain the right level of combat-ready aircraft at reduced costs. It is a fitting pause along a career path that began with Hardee's graduation from Old Dominion University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences and his commission from Aviation Officer Candidate School in 1977.

After flight training, Hardee was designated a Naval Flight Officer and given his wings in 1978. Over the next ten years, he gained extensive operational and acquisition experience through a wide variety of afloat and shore-based assignments. He completed ship's company sea duty assignments onboard USS Shreveport, where he earned his Surface Warfare Designation in 1982, USS Ranger, and USS Kitty Hawk. He had fleet assignments at Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Naval Air Station North Island, and Naval Air Station Miramar and was Commander of the Naval Air Forces Pacific Staff. .

In 1988, Hardee received a Master's degree in the Material Logistics curriculum from the Naval Postgraduate School and was assigned to Carrier Air Wing 2 as Air Wing Aircraft Maintenance Officer, completing two Western Pacific deployments aboard Ranger, including a combat cruise during Operation Desert Storm.

After completing the Program Management Course at Defense Systems Management College, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, Hardee was assigned to Naval Air Systems Command. In 1995, he became the Aircraft Maintenance Plans and Policy Officer with Commander, Naval Air Forces, Pacific Fleet staff. In this capacity, he implemented over 100 changes to the Naval Aviation Maintenance Program. He also continued to research human factors in aircraft maintenance with the Naval Postgraduate School.

In 1999 as principal deputy program manager for the Aviation Support Equipment program office, he became a certified Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) practitioner, and in 2001, he and his team won the Department of Defense Value Engineering Award for their accomplishments. Again, in November 2002, Hardee distinguished himself when the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) Sikorsky Aircraft under his command won the agency's Major Flight Operations Safety Award.