Michael Kucynda ’80 Marks 27 Years in Military

Lieutenant Colonel Michael Kucynda

During his 27 years of service, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Kucynda has served more than 12 years full-time, having started in the Army in Armor/Cavalry in 1980, the same year he graduated from IUP. He served in the elite 82nd Airborne Division in the Sheridan Battalion for the Company Command Tour.

Michael served 38 months as a lieutenant in Germany during the height of the Cold War, between 1980 and 1984. He was in the fourth ID(M) War Eagle Forward Brigade, at the time the largest maneuver brigade in Europe, on Wiesbaden Air Base, with a mission in the Fulda Gap.

In Fort Bragg, North Carolina, more than three years, he became a jumpmaster and senior rated parachutist. Michael then went to the School of Cadet Command and served in his Army Secondary, Comptroller, as 82nd Division assistant budget officer. He then went to Bowling Green State University to teach ROTC.

After a break in service, Michael returned to the Army in Reserves in 1993. While stationed in California, he made 10 overseas deployment training missions to Korea.

He served nine months at the Tuzla Eagle Base in Bosnia and Herzegovina and was part of the second wave of the initial attack in Operation Iraqi Freedom, serving in Tikrit for 15 months. He returned to Iraq in 2008 for a 14-month tour. Based in Baghdad, he escorted people from the Treasury to the northern provinces.