Michael Steigerwald joined the United States Air Force in 1989 as an aviation candidate. He was commissioned following Officer Training School and was Distinguished Graduate of his Undergraduate Pilot Training program. He transferred to the 327th Airlift Squadron, in Willow Grove, PA where he served as an Aircraft Commander and Instructor Pilot on the Lockheed C-130 “Hercules.” During the 1990′s he received several awards recognizing his participation in the Balkan conflict and various humanitarian relief efforts.
Upon transfer to the Air Force Reserve, Michael continued his aviation career in his civilian employment as airline pilot for Trans World Airlines. He was quickly promoted to flight manager and check airman, where he maintained the highest safety standards while supervising instructors and evaluators in the training department. Michael also pursued a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree.
The events of September 11, 2001 compelled Michael to return to active duty where he spent the better part of nine years deployed in support of Operations Noble Eagle, Iraqi Freedom, and Enduring Freedom. He sustained multiple injuries while engaging enemy forces in combat. On one occasion, in 2006, while leading critical medical evacuation operations, his crew survived a direct rocket attack resulting in casualties and extensive equipment damage. Between tours he was able to rehabilitate the injuries and return to his unit. After six tours of duty and leading more than 450 combat missions he is no longer able to return. Some of his military decorations include: Meritorious Service Medal; five Air Medals; Aerial Achievement Medal; Air Force Commendation Medal; Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor; Kosovo Campaign Medal; Afghanistan Campaign Medal; Iraq Campaign Medal; Humanitarian Service Medal; and the NATO Medal.
While Lieutenant Colonel Steigerwald may not return to his previous civilian aviation career, he looks forward to pursuing his passion for finance. He is confident that the military leadership, MBA, and his aviation experience will be extremely valuable to the financial services industry.
Michael lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania with his wife Alexi, and two sons Jonathan and James.