With over 21 years of service in the US Army, Michael W. Laughead’s military career has been prestigious, consisting of assignments with the 7th INF Div, 3rd AR Div, 4th INF Div, 2nd AR Div, 1st AR Div and with Operations Group, National Training Center (NTC) at Ft. Irwin, California.
His career duty positions included Infantryman, Team Leader, Squad Leader, Platoon Sergeant, Company and Battalion Master Gunner, and 1st Sergeant. Michael also served in several positions as an Observer Controller at the NTC for over 30 rotations.
His career culminated as an advisor to the Army National Guard preparing the Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and Pennsylvania National Guards for combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Michael’s career is best described as “The Consummate Trainer”. He graduated from Master Gunner School in 1993. Upon graduation, he implemented a program at Ft. Polk, LA to train Master Gunner Candidates and later took his program to Ft. Hood, TX and Baumholder, Germany, resulting in hundreds of graduates from the Master Gunner School at Ft. Benning, GA. Every Non-Commissioned Officer attending his program graduated the first time through the rigorous course.
Michael was known as the ‘go to’ guy in every unit to which he was assigned. At every turn he was selected to work above his pay grade and position. At the National Training Center he was assigned as a Team Alpha (NCOIC) after only eight rotations. Michael was later assigned as “7TA” to finish out his time as the Taft NCIOC.
Mr. Laughead’s last assignment was one of the most challenging. He was assigned to be an advisor to the Army National Guard where he would live-in with the unit in Winder, GA. Shortly after being assigned, the second Gulf War broke out. He was sent to Ft. Stewart, GA to prepare both active duty and National Guard units for action in Iraq. He was responsible for developing and implementing numerous STX lanes in preparation for combat. Thousands of soldiers attended this training as part of their preparation for combat.
Michael Laughead retired from active duty 1 July 2004 with numerous awards including: The Bronze Star Medal for actions in combat, the Meritorious Service Medal (3), the Army Accommodation Medal (9), and the Army Achievement Medal (10) and many others.
Upon retirement Mr. Laughead worked as the Operations Manager for a large construction company. After two years with that company Michael opened his own construction and remodeling company, in which he is still part owner. This company still grosses nearly $1 million dollars annually. Michael left his company when given the opportunity to be an Observer Controller with RL Leaders’ IED Battle Drill, as his first priority and passion is to train soldiers in preparation for combat.