COL (R) Michael Connolly
COL (R) Michael Connolly
Colonel (Retired) Michael Connolly was commissioned from East Tennessee State University as an Air Defense Officer in 1980. Upon the creation of an Aviation Branch in 1983, then 1LT Connolly transitioned, serving in numerous leadership and command positions as an Army Aviator. In 1999, LTC Connolly was selected to be one of the first 11 active duty Army Officers to serve in the newly created Functional Area 40 (FA40) Space Operations career field. COL (R) Connolly served in numerous space-related joint assignments until his retirement in 2006 while serving as the Chief of Staff, Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center, Cheyenne Mountain Air Station, Colorado.
During his 26-year career, COL (R) Connolly served in the following assignments: Executive Officer, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Aviation Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, Ft. Riley, Kansas; Platoon Leader, C Company, 1st Aviation Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, Ft. Riley; Commander, 240th General Support Aviation Company, 4th Aviation Brigade, 8th Infantry Division, Bad Kreuznach, Germany; Assistant Professor of Military Science, ETSU, Johnson City, TN; Executive Officer, 2d Battalion 501st Aviation Regiment, Camp Humphrey, Korea; Commander, A Company, 2 Battalion 158th Aviation Regiment, Ft. Carson, Colorado; Secretary General Staff, US Army Garrison, Ft. Carson; Mission Director, Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center (CMOC), Cheyenne Mountain Air Station, Colorado; Chief, Standards and Evaluations, CMOC; Chief, Joint Space Support Team, US Space Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado; Executive Assistant to the Commander, US Strategic Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska; Director, Command, Control and Communications (J6), CMOC.
Upon his retirement, COL (R) Connolly was employed as a Senior Analyst with the defense contracting company, Sparta. In 2008, he was selected to serve as the FA40 Personnel Proponent, a Department of the Army civilian position, and later was promoted to the Director, Army Space Personnel Development Office (ASPDO). In this later position, he was directly responsible for the life-cycle management of the Army’s FA40 officers and overseeing the development of over 5,000 military and civilian Space Cadre members.
COL (R) Connolly’s awards and decorations include: Defense Superior Service Medal; Defense Meritorious Service Medal (2 oak leaf clusters); Meritorious Service Medal (3 oak leaf clusters); Army Commendation Medal; Joint Service Achievement Medal; Army Achievement Medal (1 oak leaf cluster); Joint Meritorious Unit Award (with device); National Defense Service Medal (with device); Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Korea Defense Service Medal; Senior Aviation Badge; United States Air Force Senior Space and Missile Badge; Air Assault Badge. As a Department of the Army Civilian, COL (R) Connolly was named the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command Senior Civilian of the Year for 2010. He has also been awarded the Superior Civilian Service Medal. He is rated in the UH-1H and CH-47D helicopters.
COL (R) Connolly graduated from ETSU with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice. He also earned a Master’s Degree in City Management from ETSU, as well as a Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.