COL Brian M. Michelson grew up in an Army family. In 1984, he graduated from high school in Hinesville, Georgia, and attended the U.S. Military Academy, where he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant of Infantry in 1988.
After Airborne School, Ranger School, the Infantry Officer Basic Course and the TOW Trainer Course at Fort Benning, Georgia, COL Michelson was assigned to 5-20 Infantry at Camp Casey, Republic of South Korea, where he served as a platoon leader. Upon his return from Korea, he was assigned to Ft. McClellan, Alabama, where he served as the Chief of Range Branch, and later as Chief of the Basic Rifle Marksmanship Committee. Following this assignment, COL Michelson reported to Ft. Rucker, Alabama, in 1992 for flight school. Upon completion of flight school, the Captain’s Career Course, and Air Assault School, he reported to 1-101st Aviation Battalion at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, where he served as an Assistant S-3, S-3 and HHC Commander.
In 1996, COL Michelson was assigned to the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, North Carolina to undergo training as a Civil Affairs Officer. While there, he attended the Regional Studies Course (Asia concentration), the Civil Affairs Course, the Psychological Operations Course and the Thai Language Course. He was then assigned to the 96th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne) where he served as a Team Leader, Theater Plans Officer, Theater Liaison Officer, and HHC Commander. In 2000, COL Michelson was assigned to the United States Army Special Operations Command where he served as the Chief of the Strategic Plans and Policy Branch.
COL Michelson left active duty in 2001 and upon completion of New Agent Training at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Academy, began service as an FBI Special Agent in Moline, Illinois. In 2003, he was recalled to active duty in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and joined XVIII Airborne Corps in Afghanistan. While there, he served as the Chief of Aviation Current Operations and as a Civil Affairs Planner at the US Embassy in Kabul. Upon redeployment, COL Michelson resigned from the FBI and returned to XVIII Airborne Corps where he served as the Chief of Civil Military Operations during the Corps’ next deployment to Iraq in 2005. Upon return from Iraq, COL Michelson served as the Deputy Corps G-9 until he was reassigned to the Joint Special Operations Command where he served as an Information Operations Plans/Operations Officer.
COL Michelson assumed command of the 97th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne) in 2009. Upon completion of command, COL Michelson served as the Deputy Commanding Officer of the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (Airborne) until he attended the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania.
COL Michelson holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the U.S. Military Academy, a Master of Business Administration from Webster University and a Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College. His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star (2 OLCs), the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (2 OLCs), the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal (2 OLCs), the Joint Service Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal (2), the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Korea Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal with “M” Device, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Army Meritorious Unit Citation, the Army Superior Unit Award. COL Michelson has earned the Ranger Tab, Senior Parachutist Badge, Army Aviator Badge, Air Assault Badge, German Military Efficiency Badge (Bronze), Venezuelan Airborne Wings and Polish Airborne Wings.