Vining, Mike, SGM

Infantry (Enlisted)
 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Current Service Status
USA Retired
Current/Last Rank
Sergeant Major
Current/Last Service Branch
Current/Last Primary MOS
11Z50-Infantry Senior Sergeant
Current/Last MOS Group
Infantry (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1992-1999, 11Z50, United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM)/Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC)
Previously Held MOS
55C-Ammunition Maintenance Specialist
55D-Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Specialist
55D-Explosive Ordnance Disposal Specialist
Service Years
1968 - 1999

Sergeant Major

Ten Service Stripes

Two Overseas Service Bars

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord US Army Retired (Pre-2007) WWII EOD Sleeve Insignia Austrian High Alpine Police Badge

EOD US SOCOM U.S. Army Vietnam Army Materiel Command

USA Forces Command 172nd Infantry Brigade Army Special Operations Command USAE US Special Operations Command

1st Sustainment Command

 Unofficial Badges 

Airborne Ordnance Shoulder Cord Army Honorable Discharge (1984-Present) Cold War Medal

Cold War Veteran Special Operations Vietnam Veteran 50th Commemoration Vietnam 50th Anniversary

U.S. Army Ordnance Corps Hall of Fame Medal

 Military Association Memberships
Post 8121, Seigfried-Leyte PostUnited States Naval InstituteVietnam EOD Veteran ChapterVietnam EOD Veterans Association
ATWS Unit HistorianEOD Warrior Foundation
  2001, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW), Post 8121, Seigfried-Leyte Post (Member) (South Fork, Colorado) [Verified]1 - Chap. Page
  2006, United States Naval Institute - Assoc. Page
  2008, National EOD Association (NATEODA). , Vietnam EOD Veteran Chapter1
  2008, Vietnam EOD Veterans Association
  2008, National EOD Association (NATEODA).
  2013, ATWS Unit Historian [Verified]
  2015, EOD Warrior Foundation - Assoc. Page

 Additional Information
What are you doing now:
Fully retired.  Keeping busy by writing, hiking, backpacking, rock and mountain climbing, mountain biking, snowshoeing, and alpine and backcountry skiing.
Other Comments:
Recipient of The Order of 1st SFOD-D - Delta Colors, Serial Number 123, on 19 October 1995, for singularly exemplary contributions to 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment - Delta (Airborne).  Graduate of Operator Training Course -1 (OTC-1).   In Delta served as an Operator, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician, Master Breacher, Climbing Instructor, and Mountain Guide.  Historian for the Vietnam Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Veterans Chapter of the National Explosive Ordnance Disposal Association (NATEODA).  Assistant historian for the NATEODA.  Recieved the 2013 Art Macksey Citizenship Award presented by the Vietnam EOD Veterans Association.  Inducted into the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps Hall of Fame, Class of 2018.

Married to Donna L. Ikenberry, a freelance photojournalist.  We have two daughters and six grandchildren.  The oldest two grandchildren served in the U.S. Navy.   One grandson is currently assigned to the carrier USS CARL VINSON (CVN-70), homeport San Diego, California.  On 1 June 2018, Donna was awarded the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps "Keeper of the Flame" award.

BBC radio interview link that I did on the Iran Hostage Rescue Mission - Operation EAGLE CLAW, 24 - 25 April 1980:

SOFREP Radio Interview #1, Episode 322:

SOFREP Radio Interview #2, Episode 342:

Hazard Ground Podcast Interview #1, Episode #57 and Interview #2, Episode #73:

 Remembrance Profiles -  54 Soldiers Remembered
 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award

Parachutist (Basic)Military Freefall ParachutistExplosives Ordnance Disposal (Master)

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1968, 8th Battalion, 3rd Training Regiment (Fort Knox, KY), E/4
 Unit Assignments
US Army Materiel Command (AMC)US Army Materiel Command (AMC)/Technical Escort Unit533rd Ordnance Detachment (EOD) Control533rd Ordnance Detachment (EOD) Control
543rd Ordnance Detachment (EOD) Control1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (1st SFOD-D)1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (1st SFOD-D)176th Ordnance Detachment (EOD) Alaska
176th Ordnance Detachment (EOD) AlaskaUnited States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM)/Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC)
  1968-1968, 55C, US Army Materiel Command (AMC)
  1969-1969, 55D, Phase One Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD)
  1969-1969, 55D, Phase Two Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD)
  1969-1970, 55D, US Army Materiel Command (AMC)/Technical Escort Unit
  1970-1970, 55D, 533rd Ordnance Detachment (EOD) Control/99th Ordnance Detachment (EOD)
  1971-1971, 55D, 533rd Ordnance Detachment (EOD) Control/99th Ordnance Detachment (EOD)
  1973-1978, 55D, 543rd Ordnance Detachment (EOD) Control/63rd Ordnance Detachment (EOD)
  1978-1983, 55D, 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (1st SFOD-D)
  1983-1985, 55D, 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (1st SFOD-D)
  1985-1985, 55D, 176th Ordnance Detachment (EOD) Alaska
  1986-1986, 55D, 176th Ordnance Detachment (EOD) Alaska
  1986-1999, 11Z50, 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (1st SFOD-D)
  1992-1999, 11Z50, United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM)/Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1970-1970 Vietnam War/Winter-Spring 1970 Campaign
  1970-1970 Vietnam War/Sanctuary Counteroffensive Campaign (1970)/Operation Toan Thang 42 / Rock Crusher
  1970-1970 Vietnam War/Sanctuary Counteroffensive Campaign (1970)
  1970-1971 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase VII Campaign (1970-71)
  1979-1981 Iran Hostage Crisis
  1980-1980 Operation Eagle Claw (Iran)2
  1983-1983 Operation Urgent Fury (Grenada)
  1991-1991 Gulf War/Defense of Saudi Arabia
  1991-1991 Gulf War/Liberation and Defense of Kuwait/Operation Desert Storm
  1994-1994 Operation Uphold Democracy (Haiti)1
 Reflections on Service
Please describe who or what influenced your decision to join the Army?
Whether you were in the service for several years or as a career, please describe the direction or path you took. What was your reason for leaving?
If you participated in any military operations, including combat, humanitarian and peacekeeping operations, please describe those which were the most significant to you and, if life-changing, in what way.
Was there a particular incident during your service when you believed you were in a situation you might not survive? Please describe what happened and what was the outcome.
Of all your duty stations or assignments, which one do you have fondest memories of and why? Which one was your least favorite?
From your entire service, including combat, describe the personal memories which have impacted you most?
What achievement(s) are you most proud of from your military career? If you received any medals, awards, formal presentations or qualification badges for significant achievement or valor, please describe how these were earned.
Of all the medals, awards, formal presentations and qualification badges you received, or any other memorabilia, please describe those which are the most meaningful to you and why?
Which individual(s) from your time in the military stand out as having the most positive impact on you and why?
Please recount the names of friends you served with, at which location, and what you remember most about them. Indicate those you are already in touch with and those you would like to make contact with.
Can you recount a particular incident from your service which may or may not have been funny at the time, but still makes you laugh?
What profession did you follow after your military service and what are you doing now? If you are currently serving, what is your present occupational specialty?
What military associations are you a member of, if any? What specific benefits do you derive from your memberships?
In what ways has serving in the military influenced the way you have approached your life and your career? What do you miss most about your time in the service?
Based on your own experiences, what advice would you give to those who have recently joined the Army?
In what ways has helped you remember your military service and the friends you served with.
 Colleges Attended 
Excelsior College
  1993-1994, Excelsior College
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Sep 03, 2008, On the summit of Rio Grande Pyramid (13,821'), Colorado1
  Oct 30, 2012, General Photos10
  Nov 30, 2017, Military Bio
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