Tracy Abbott Hardwick, Colonel, USAF, (retired)
Tracy Abbott Hardwick, Colonel, USAF, (retired), age 62 of Yulee, Florida passed away on Sunday, May 3, 2020 at Community Hospice at Baptist Medical Center in Jacksonville after a year-long battle with cancer.
Tracy was born in Lineville, Alabama to Geraldine Nazworth Hardwick and the late Charles Abbott Hardwick. He grew up in Dade City, Florida and moved to Fernandina Beach, Florida, graduating from Fernandina Beach High School, Class of 1975. Colonel Hardwick earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology from Florida State University in 1980. He continued his education earning a Master of Science degree in Criminology from Central Missouri State University and a Master of Science degree in Strategic Studies from the Air War College. Colonel Hardwick commissioned into the United States Air Force through the Reserve Officer Training Corps at Florida State University and entered active duty in 1980.
In his 30 years of service, Colonel Hardwick was a respected Commander, warrior and exemplary Air Force Officer. He always led by example and was a master in building esprit des corps. He commanded a Services Squadron and two Aerial Port Squadrons at McChord Air Force Base (AFB), Washington and Travis AFB, California. He was then handpicked to command the 60th Mission Support Group at Travis AFB, California. He always said, �Commanding Airmen was an honor and a privilege.�
Colonel Hardwick was also a warrior who served during the height of the Cold War, overseas and in three combat operations. He was a Minuteman II Missile Combat Crew Commander and Flight Commander in the 508th Strategic Missile Squadron, Whiteman AFB, Missouri. He also served overseas at Rhein Main Air Base, Germany in the 4th Mobile Aerial Port Squadron and deployed for Combat Operations in OPERATION URGENT FURY, Grenada; and OPERATION DESERT SHIELD and OPERATION DESERT STORM in Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
A talented planner, speaker, and writer, he was chosen to serve on the staffs of the Air Mobility Command and Pacific Air Forces Command. He received numerous awards and decorations including the Legion of Merit with one oak leaf cluster, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Navy Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal and the Air Force Achievement Medal. Colonel Hardwick retired as the Logistics Readiness Division Chief for Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Hickam AFB, Hawaii, and relocated back to Yulee, Florida to be near family.
After taking off the uniform, he continued to excel and to serve. Tracy started with JAS air cargo on August 28, 2017 and quickly rose from Business Development Manager to Director, National Accounts for the Government and Defense sector. Tracy ranked first or second nationally in Sales every year. He was always clear that his mission at JAS was to provide the best possible support to the US Warfighter.
Tracy was an avid outdoorsman, he enjoyed surfing, boating, fishing and working out.
Tracy�s father, Charles A. Hardwick, preceded him in death. He leaves behind his wife, Gloria Hardwick of Yulee, Florida; his children, Hunter Hardwick of Yulee, Florida, Megan Hardwick of Tucson, Arizona, Janisa Harmon and her husband Joshua of Yulee, Florida; his mother Geri Hardwick of Fernandina Beach, Florida; his sister, LaDonna Wagner of Lakeland, Florida and granddaughter, Harper Gaines. He also leaves behind several nieces and nephews.
Services to celebrate his life will be held at a later date.