Michael Carey (United States Air Force officer)

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Michael J. Carey
Michael J. Carey USAF 2013-11-15.JPG
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Air Force
Years of service1978–2014
RankUS Air Force O8 shoulderboard rotated.svg Major general (retired as a brigadier general due to time-in-grade requirements)
AwardsDefense Superior Service Medal (2)
Legion of Merit (2)

Michael J. Carey is an American entrepreneur and one of four founders of ATLAS Space Operations, Inc. Upon retiring after 32 years of military service, he became CEO and President of AAC Microtec North America, Inc., founded M. Carey Consultants, LLC, and CompressWave, LLC. He is a retired American military officer who served in the United States Air Force.[1] Enlisted on Sep 17, 1977, he retired on June 1, 2014 as a brigadier general, after 32 years of military service.


Carey enlisted in the Air Force in 1977. On April 29, 1983, he became a second lieutenant; on August 5, 1985 – first lieutenant; on August 5, 1987 – captain; on November 11, 1994 – major; on January 1, 1998 – lieutenant colonel; on August 1, 2002 – colonel; on November 14, 2008 – brigadier general; and on November 2, 2011, he was promoted to major general. His assignments included serving as Deputy Director, Global Operations, Global Operations Directorate, USSTRATCOM (March 2008 – August 2010); Chief, USSTRATCOM Forward Integration Team, Kabul, Afghanistan (June 2009 – August 2009); Deputy Director, Command, Control and Nuclear Operations (J3), Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. (August 2010 – June 2012), among others.[1]

Upon retirement from the USAF, Gen Carey founded a consultancy, M. Carey Consultants, LLC as a Michigan-based small business that provides leadership training and advising, as well as defense-related advice to clients.[2]

Moscow incident[edit]

On July 14–18, 2013, Carey took part in the work of the Bilateral Presidential Commission, Military Cooperation Working Group during the two-day U.S.-Russian Federation Nuclear Security Exercise 2013 in Sergeiv Posad, Moscow, Russia. He headed the Department of Defense delegation, which consisted of three commissioned officers and five civilian personnel from DOD. In October 2013, Carey was relieved of his command of the 20th Air Force and Task Force (TF) 214 by Lieutenant General James Kowalski, commander of Air Force Global Strike Command,[3] after an examination of Carey's behavior in Moscow conducted by the US Air Force Office of Special Investigations. A delegation member representing the Office of the Secretary of Defense with a first-hand knowledge of the incident, whose name was not revealed, triggered the investigation by reporting it to the superiors.[4] Later, she told the investigators, "I realized that this was putting us all at risk, especially Russia and women, and I just wanted nothing to do with that".[5]

The Washington Post wrote that Carey drank excessively during his visit to Russia, and fraternized with foreign women.[5] The New York Times claimed that Carey's behavior during the official meetings was not appropriate, including "interrupting speakers and correcting a Russian translator", and that he was over drinking during the visit, and once attempted to play with a restaurant band.[6] Under the Freedom of Information Act, American journalists filed a request and received a redacted copy of the official Report of Investigations Concerning Major General Michael J. Carey. The report revealed that Carey's behavior was considered by his colleagues as rude toward the Russian hosts during the exercise and related briefings, especially, when he made comments about Syria and Snowden.[4]

As a reprimand, Carey was given a "letter of counseling". He was relieved of his duties and assigned as a special assistant to the commander of the U.S. Air Force Space Command Gen. William L. Shelton, who issued a statement: "This was an unfortunate incident, Major General Carey has otherwise served the nation extremely well".[5] On April 10, 2014, it was announced that Carey would retire on June 1, 2014, in the rank of brigadier general.[7]


Awards and decorations[edit]

Master space badge.JPG Command Space Operations Badge
United States Air Force Officer Aircrew Badge.svg Master Aircrew Badge (Officer)
Afg 021203 114.jpg Master Missile Operations Badge
Joint Chiefs of Staff seal.svg Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Defense Superior Service Medal with one bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Width-44 crimson ribbon with a pair of width-2 white stripes on the edges
Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Defense Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Width-44 crimson ribbon with two width-8 white stripes at distance 4 from the edges.Oak leaf cluster, bronze.svgOak leaf cluster, bronze.svgOak leaf cluster, bronze.svgOak leaf cluster, bronze.svg Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Joint Service Achievement Medal
Oak leaf cluster, bronze.svgOak leaf cluster, bronze.svg Air Force Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Joint Meritorious Unit Award with oak leaf cluster
Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation
Silver oak leaf cluster
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with silver oak leaf cluster
Oak leaf cluster, bronze.svgOak leaf cluster, bronze.svgOak leaf cluster, bronze.svg Air Force Organizational Excellence Award with three oak leaf clusters
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Combat Readiness Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Good Conduct Medal
Bronze star
Width=44 scarlet ribbon with a central width-4 golden yellow stripe, flanked by pairs of width-1 scarlet, white, Old Glory blue, and white stripes
National Defense Service Medal with one bronze service star
Bronze star
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one service star
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Armed Forces Service Medal
Bronze star
Humanitarian Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Overseas Long Tour Service Ribbon
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with gold frame
Oak leaf cluster, bronze.svgOak leaf cluster, bronze.svgSilver oakleaf-3d.svgOak leaf cluster, bronze.svg Air Force Longevity Service Award with one silver and three bronze oak leaf clusters
Bronze star
Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon with service star
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Air Force Training Ribbon with oak leaf cluster
NATO Medal for service with ISAF


  1. ^ a b c "Major General Michael J. Carey". United States Air Force. Retrieved December 19, 2013.
  2. ^ (www.mcareyconsultants.com and http://www.record-eagle.com/news/business/ atlas-officer-talks-about-leading-from-the-middle/article_8002524a- d037-5df0-8067-b990f728bde9.html)
  3. ^ "20th Air Force commander relieved of command" (Press release). Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs. October 11, 2013. Archived from the original on December 20, 2013. Retrieved December 19, 2013.
  4. ^ a b The Inspector General of the Air Force. Report of Investigations (Case S8011P)Concerning Major General Michael J. Carey.. October 2013. (Declassified.) Retrieved December 20, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c Whitlock, Craig (December 19, 2013). "Report: U.S. Air Force general drank too much, fraternized with foreign women in Moscow". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 19, 2013.
  6. ^ Steinhauer, Jennifer. Air Force Removed General Over Drunken Behavior in Moscow.The New York Times, December 20, 2013. Retrieved December 20, 2013.
  7. ^ "Former 20th Air Force commander fired after Russia trip will retire as 1-star". militarytimes.com. April 10, 2014. Retrieved November 11, 2015.

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "Major General Michael J Carey".

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