Sergeant Major Mike R. Vining

Sergeant Major Mike R. Vining

Sergeant Major Mike R. Vining enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1968 and completed Basic Training at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Following his completion of Advanced Individual Training at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama in the Ammunition Renovation Course, he attended the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Course and the Nuclear Weapons Disposal Course at Indian Head, Maryland.

Following his training, SGM Vining deployed to Vietnam with the 99th Ordnance Detachment (EOD) where he was awarded the Bronze Star in 1971 for his meritorious service in ground operations and EOD duties. In 1973, he joined the 543rd Ordnance Detachment (EOD) at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, during which time he was awarded for heroism as an EOD specialist during a series of terrorist bombings in Quincy, Illinois.

In 1978, SGM Vining volunteered for a new unit being formed, the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment – Delta, where he served until 1985 as the unit’s first EOD specialist. During his assignment, he participated in Operation Eagle Claw in Iran and Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada.

Following an assignment with the 176th Ordnance Detachment (EOD) at Fort Richardson, Alaska, he returned to Delta Force where he served as Chief EOD Technician, Research and Development Sergeant Major, and Breaching Sergeant Major from 1986 until 1992. During this assignment, he deployed in support of Operation Pocket Planner and Operation Desert Storm.

Sergeant Major Vining culminated his Army career as the Special Plans Sergeant Major for U.S. Special Operations Command and Joint Special Operations Command. During this tour, he served as the Senior Enlisted Advisor for the Joint Special Operations Task Force during Operation Uphold Democracy and as the Explosives Expert on the Downing Assessment Task Force, which investigated the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia in 1996.

Sergeant Major Mike R. Vining retired in 1999.