Dr. Mike Colson is a former Marine and Navy commander, special staff officer, and combat veteran. He is a National Service Fellow, a recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal, was awarded the Iraq (and) Afghanistan War on Terrorism Medal, and is a significantly disabled American veteran. He has served with Second Marine Division, aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln and three other Navy vessels forward, at COMFLEACT Chinhae (Korea), NS Everett, and finally at NAS Whidbey Island. He supported U.S. Marine Infantry (6th and 8th Marines) and U.S. Navy Air Wing (COMVAQWINGPAC and Wing 10) commands during multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, Turkey, and the Middle east. He further worked with the Center for Career Development and the Navy Safety Center as a special staff officer focused on health and well-being training protocols, prevention program media design and implementation, command health risk assessment, and on-site human services support. He continued this work as a clinical Readjustment and Outreach Coordinator for the Veterans Administration and Triwest Health Care Alliance. He provided clinical support services under contract to the Department of Defense and to international defense contractors. He separated from active service in 2005 and later was transferred to the medical retiree rolls due to injuries sustained and multiple surgeries.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in Education and Educational Psychology from Eastern Michigan University (1977); a Master of Science in Educational Psychology and Counseling from Western Seminary (Portland OR, 1980); a PhD. in Clinical Human Services and Public Health (1998), and additional post-graduate credentials in emergency and trauma care (1986). He is a licensed clinical provider in Washington State, a certified K-12 public school educator (K-12/School Counseling), and a former credentialed provider for the Veterans Administration and the Department of Defense.
He began his career as a Kindergarten teacher in Michigan and took that training to Africa where he was a teacher and then principal/headmaster at Mankayane High School in Swaziland. During a 14 year African tenure, he advanced his influence as a adjunct college professor, community humanitarian, and U.S. Foreign Service Officer, assisting in drought relief and refugee recovery and support programming during the Mozambican Civil War and its aftermath. He started with his wife first one then a second orphanage for children affected with HIV/AIDS. He regularly advocates for a non-profit foundation, Michael Colson Associated Services, which receives all proceeds from his book sales, consulting and speaking fees. He is expanding the humanitarian work to include emergency feeding schemes in India and Africa and volunteers in the Hawaiian Public School system.
Past accomplishments include three books: “The Paradox of Underachievement” from EMI that explores military dissonance in a benefit-laden society - “In Irons” from Bookmasters that is a humorous diatribe on the art of living well - and - “We Are Mysterious”. He has developed mixed media material targeting military and youth issues, suicide, depression, stress, education, decision making, and post-combat readjustment. He has developed a virtual and interactive post-combat zone assessment vehicle and transition of care program. Dr. Colson was the subject of a two-part NPR expose on post-combat care, regularly speaks at colleges and universities, military bases, community events and celebrations. He most recently returned from Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East. He is an advocate for youth, orphans, refugees, military and contract personnel serving their country, and those suffering from HIV/AIDS worldwide. He lives in Kamuela on the Big Island of Hawaii. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.