Michael Haley (soldier)

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Michael Haley
First Gentleman of South Carolina
In role
January 12, 2011 – January 24, 2017
GovernorNikki Haley
Preceded byJenny Sanford
Succeeded byPeggy McMaster (as First Lady)
Personal details
Nikki Randhawa (m. 1996)
Alma materUniversity of North Carolina at Charlotte
OccupationMilitary technician, soldier
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
RankArmy-USA-OF-02.svg Captain
Unit South Carolina Army National Guard
Battles/warsAfghan War

Michael Haley is an officer in the South Carolina Army National Guard and the husband of former U.S. Ambassador and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. He served as the First Gentleman of South Carolina from 2011 to 2017 and was the first to hold the position.


Military service[edit]

Haley is employed full-time as a federal military technician with the South Carolina Army National Guard.[1]

In January 2012, Haley shipped out for a year-long tour of duty in Afghanistan as a captain in the South Carolina Army National Guard.[2][3][4] The unit served in Helmand Province as an Agribusiness Development Team helping Afghan farmers improve farming techniques and develop cash crops to replace opium poppies.[5] Haley served as a liaison between the military and civilian authorities.[6] He is thought to have been the first spouse of a governor to serve on active duty in a war zone.[2][7]

Marines serving with Haley in Helmand Province nicknamed him FGOSC (First Gentleman of South Carolina), referencing First Lady of the United States.[4]

First Gentleman of South Carolina[edit]

Since Haley is the first person to become First Gentleman of South Carolina, and because there have only been 15 First Gentlemen in U.S. history, including the five men in that role as of 2015,[8] there was speculation about what his role would be.[4][9] Haley chaired the foundation that oversees the preservation and management of the South Carolina Governor's Mansion in Columbia.[8][9]

Personal life[edit]

Haley and Nikki Randhawa met in 1989 as undergraduates at Clemson University.[10] While Nikki Haley is a Clemson graduate, Michael graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a degree in business administration.[11][2] Haley is a graduate of Hilton Head Preparatory School.[12]

Michael and Nikki Haley were married in 1996 in two ceremonies, a Sikh ceremony, and a ceremony at St. Andrew's by-the-Sea, the Methodist church in Hilton Head, where Haley's parents, Carole and Bill, have lived since retiring from jobs in Cleveland, Ohio when Michael was in the ninth grade.[12][13][14] Before retiring to Hilton Head, Bill Haley was director of a steel manufacturing plant and Carole Haley taught school.[14]

Haley worked at Exotica International, the clothing store founded by his mother-in-law, Raj Randhawa, before becoming a full-time federal military technician with the South Carolina Army National Guard in 2006.[11][2][15]


  1. ^ "Haley, Chosen to Rebut Obama's State of Union Speech, Is Rising Republican Star". Voice of America. 12 January 2016. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d Wilkinson, Jeff (30 July 2012). "First gentleman Michael Haley to serve with Guard in Afghanistan". Spartanburg Herald - Journal.
  3. ^ Lowe, Rachael (8 May 2015). "May proclaimed 'Month of the Military Spouse'". The State. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  4. ^ a b c Beam, Adam (23 May 2013). "EXCLUSIVE Michael Haley: No better way to represent S.C. than in the Guard". The State. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  5. ^ Schafer, Susanne (10 January 2013). "S.C. Gov. Haley's husband deploys with Guard". Army Times. AP. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  6. ^ Low, Kristen (31 July 2012). "First Gentleman of South Carolina, husband of Nikki Haley, to ship out to Afghanistan". New York Daily News. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  7. ^ Singh, Simran (12 November 2010). "We live the American Dream". India Abroad.
  8. ^ a b Thompson, Krissah (24 April 2015). "What happens when a man takes over role of first lady?". News Journal. Washington Post. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  9. ^ a b Funderburg, Greg (3 November 2010). "What Will SC's First, First Gentleman Do?". Fox News. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  10. ^ Smith, Gina (25 November 2011). "Haley the 'Clemson girl' a rarity among governors". The Herald. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  11. ^ a b Jennings, Natalie (10 January 2013). "Nikki Haley's husband departs for Afghan mission". Washington Post. AP.
  12. ^ a b Lauderdale, /david (23 April 2013). "Governor mixes business, pleasure at Heritage". The Island Packet. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  13. ^ Dewan, Shaila (13 June 2010). "All Her Life, Nikki Haley Was the Different One". New York Times. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  14. ^ a b Dawsey, Josh (19 June 2010). "Nikki Haley's Hilton Head in-laws have been helping since campaign's onset". McClatchy - Tribune Business News.
  15. ^ "Haley's Comet". The Economist. 16 January 2016.
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Jenny Sanford
First Gentleman of South Carolina
Succeeded by
Peggy McMaster
as First Lady of South Carolina