COL Michael C. Birchfield
Inducted December 14, 2012
Colonel Michael C. Birchfield is a native of West Frankfort, Illinois and a 1982 graduate of Southern Illinois University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Administration of Justice.
Colonel Birchfield enlisted in the Army in 1976 as an Infantryman, serving at total of four years in the 1st Ranger Battalion, 101st Airborne Division and 2nd Infantry Division. He transitioned into the Army Reserves and enrolled in SIUC in 1980, while serving with the 12th Special Forces Group (SFG). He was a member of the first SIUC Army ROTC class to receive commissions in 1982. COL Birchfield has commanded at the platoon, company and battalion level. His assignments as a commissioned Infantry officer while serving with the Army Reserve and Army National Guard include the following: Platoon Leader with 7th Infantry Division; Operations Officer at Joint Readiness Training Center and with the 7th SFG (A); Company Commander, C Company, 3-130 IN; 10th PSYOP BN; 101st Airborne Division; Commander Police Transition Team – Iraq; 205th IN BDE (Counter IED and COIN training center); Task Force Paladin – Afghanistan; Commander 1st BN, 335thIN; Deputy Director of Operations for the 101st Airborne Division and Combined Joint Task Force 101st Regional Command East; Chief of Operations for Afghan National Security Forces; Combined Joint Task Force -101st Liaison to United States Forces Afghanistan.
Colonel Birchfield has one deployment to Bosnia, two combat deployments to Iraq and three combat deployments to Afghanistan. His military schools include the Special Forces Qualification Course, Reserve Component (enlisted); Infantry Officer’s Basic Course; Infantry Officer’s Advanced Course; Combined Arms Staff Service School; Psychological Operations Officer Course; Joint Psychological Operations Staff Planning Course and the Command and General Staff College. His commendations include the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf cluster, Defense Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Commendation Medal, and Army Commendation Medal with two Oak Leaf clusters, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and Army Reserve Achievement Medal. He has earned the Combat Infantry Badge, Expert Infantry Badge, Special Forces Tab, Basic Parachute Badge, Air Assault Badge and Korean Parachute Badge.
Colonel Birchfield retired from military service in June 2012. He is also a retired police Lieutenant from the West Frankfort Police Department. He, and his wife Jamie, live in West Frankfort. Jamie attends SIUC where she is majoring in University Studies with minors in Photojournalism and Psychology.