Mike is originally from Miles City and returned to Billings, Montana in June of 2020 with his wife. Prior to the move, he served 10 years as the County of Ventura (CA) – Veteran Services Officer (CVSO). The CVSO is responsible for managing the Veteran Services Office (VSO) and its staff. The primary mission of the VSO is connecting veterans, their dependents, and survivors with federal and state VA benefits and local services, as well as advocating on behalf of Ventura County’s 39,000 veterans, 10,000 military personnel, and their families.
Prior to assuming CVSO duties, Mike worked three years in the private sector for Baxter International in their Thousand Oaks BioScience facility as their training & development manager. Before working in the private sector, Mike held a variety of leadership positions in the Air Force, first in fuels management/logistics planning and the last seven years as a First Sergeant (E-8) overseeing all enlisted personnel within his units. He had general supervision over all enlisted personnel and was responsible for advising the unit commander on all issues which affected those personnel, whether stateside or deployed.
During Mike’s military service, he deployed for three major operations: to USAF in Europe Headquarters Staff for ALLIED FORCE in 1999, to Kuwait for SOUTHERN WATCH in 2002, and to Kuwait for IRAQI FREEDOM in 2003. He was also stationed in Kunsan AB, Republic of South Korea from August 1996 – February 1998. He ultimately retired after 20 years of service, with his last assignment as the First Sergeant for the Air Force Detachment at Naval Base Ventura County – Port Hueneme. Among his military awards and decorations are the Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal with four oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor Device with three oak leaf clusters, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and the NATO Medal.
Mike has served as first vice president of the CA Association of County Veteran Service Officers and was the Director of the Veteran Collaborative of Ventura County. He has testified twice at field hearings before the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Veterans’ Health and was selected Veteran of the Year 2018 by CA Assembly Member Jacqui Irwin, Chairperson of the CA Assembly Veterans’ Affairs Committee. Mike holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Business Management.