Nathan Hardy was born on December 28, 1978, in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on November 26, 1996, and went on active duty to begin basic training on November 4, 1997. Hardy completed basic training at NTC Great Lakes, Illinois, in January 1998, and then attended Quartermaster A School at Great Lakes from January to May 1998. He then attended Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training at NAB Coronado, California, from May 1998 to February 1999, followed by Basic Airborne training at Fort Benning, Georgia, in March 1999. His first assignment was with SEAL Team EIGHT at NAB Little Creek, Virginia, from April 1999 to October 2002, and then with Naval Special Warfare Unit TWO in Stuttgart, Germany, from October 2002 to December 2003. Petty Officer Hardy next attended Arabic language training at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, from December 2003 to June 2005, followed by service back with SEAL Team EIGHT at NAB Little Creek from June 2005 to June 2007. His final assignment was with the Naval Special Warfare Development Group at Dam Neck, Virginia, from July 2007 until he was killed in action in Iraq on February 4, 2008. Nathan Hardy was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
His 2nd Bronze Star Medal w/Valor Citation reads:
For heroic achievement in connection with combat operations against the enemy as an Assault Team Member for a Joint Task Force in direct support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM from 10 January to 4 February 2008. During this period, Chief Petty Officer Hardy repeatedly displayed extraordinary battlefield courage while conducting numerous direct action missions against known terrorists and anti-coalition militia in an area infested with enemy combatants. These operations resulted in the elimination and capture of numerous enemy combatants, and the recovery of multiple small arms, explosives, improvised explosive devices, and valuable intelligence. As his team's leading battlefield tactical interviewer, his leadership, tactical acumen, and Arabic language ability were crucial in the successful on-site exploitation and follow-on targeting. On 4 February 2007, Chief Petty Officer Hardy was part of the leading entry team, aggressively pursuing the enemy in an operation that was critical to denying the enemy safe haven. By his extraordinary guidance, zealous initiative, and total dedication to duty, Chief Petty Officer Hardy reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
The Combat Distinguishing Device is authorized.