Retired Brigadier General Michael J. Bouchard had 22 different assignments that included five deployments (peacetime and combat) and commanded at all levels up to Brigade in his almost 31 years in the Army. He started his career as a Cold War warrior protecting the U.S. and our European Allies from a Soviet Union attack across the Fulda Gap and ended his career as a Global War on Terror (GWOT) Warrior planning and conducting counterinsurgency operations.
He began his career in 1985 as an engineer officer, and he has been assigned with every type of engineer unit the Army has in its inventory. In the last third of his career, he was predominantly an Operational and Strategic Planner and Leader. During his last deployment to Afghanistan, he was one of the planners of the surge that embedded U.S. and Coalition forces with Afghan National Police units in the 365 Afghan districts, and he assisted the Afghan Paramilitary Forces with their deployment and support of combat operations in Kandahar and Helmond Provinces assisting British, Canadian and U.S. Marine Corps Forces fight against the Taliban.
On September 11, 2001, when American Arline flight 77 was hijacked and deliberately crashed into the Pentagon, Michael was in a meeting that morning on the First Floor of the Pentagon, just around the corner from where the plane crashed. That day, he assisted with saving the life of his Executive Officer who was badly injured and burned in the attack. General Bouchard says, “For me, 911 changed my life forever.”
He is married to Dr. Traci Bouchard who is a Pediatrician at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. They have nine children and four grandchildren and spend most of their time traveling around the country to visit them and traveling to Germany to visit family there. His hobbies include riding bikes, motorcycles, and hiking.
He is a passionate supporter of veterans and is currently the Commander of the American Legion Post 38 in Somerset. He is also a board member of the Mills Springs Battlefield Association and volunteers at the local Veterans Administration Clinic.