Former U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander
Spencer Abbot was born April 18, 1973. He died on November 15, 2017, at the age of 44. Spencer was a cherished member of the Foundation, a brave leader, and a loving husband, father, and friend. He is missed dearly by his family, friends, and military compatriots. Spencer is survived by his loving wife, Laura Winthrop Abbot, their two daughters and one son.
Spencer was a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy and FA-18 Hornet pilot, and served as an FA-18 exchange pilot with the Spanish Air Force. He was a 1995 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy where he served as Brigade Commander and Plebe Summer Regimental Commander, the two highest leadership positions for Midshipmen at the Naval Academy. He earned his Master’s Degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy where he was a PhD candidate in International Relations. Following graduate school, he attended U.S. Navy flight training, and upon graduation received an award for the highest academic and flight grades during the year 2000 as well as Student of the Year at his FA-18 Hornet initial training squadron in 2001.
During a 2001 deployment aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, Lieutenant Commander Abbot flew missions in support of the UN No-Fly Zone over Iraq in conjunction with Operation Southern Watch, and subsequently participated in the first U.S. air strikes in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. During a 2003 deployment aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt, he served as a flight lead during combat missions at the outset of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He had accumulated approximately 1400 tactical jet flight hours and 265 carrier arrested landings. His military awards include the Individual Air Medal and Navy Commendation Medals with combat “V” devices.
Lieutenant Commander Abbot worked as a political-military planner at the U.S. Military Delegation to NATO Headquarters in Brussels in 1996, and served as an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) election monitor on several occasions in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia. As a community service coordinator for his squadron, he had organized a Partnership in Education between his squadron and a local school for at-risk youth in 2003, and despite a slight shark “phobia”, he had worked as a volunteer scuba diver at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.