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U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command


U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command

Camp Lejeune, NC

Lieutenant Colonel Michael J. Butler 3d Marine Raider Battalion Commanding Officer

Lieutenant Colonel Butler was born on August 24, 1965 in Columbus, Georgia. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in June of 1983 and stayed in the reserves while attending North Georgia College from 1983 to 1985. At this point, he augmented to active duty in the Marine Corps and remained on active duty for the next eight years. While on active duty he served as a field radio operator with 3rd Battalion 5th Marines, 1st Light Armored Infantry Battalion and 1st Force Reconnaissance Company.


LtCol Butler was released from active duty and returned to Georgia to complete his degree at Georgia State University in Atlanta. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice.  After graduation, he applied and was accepted as a candidate for a Marine Corps Commission. He attended Officer Candidate School in January 1996 at Quantico, Virginia where he graduated and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant. Upon completing The Basic School and the Infantry Officer Course, he received orders to 1st Battalion 4th Marines.


From 1997 to 1999, he served in 1st Battalion 4th Marines as a platoon commander and Executive Officer (XO) of Alpha Company. In 1999, he was assigned as platoon commander for 3rd Platoon, 1st Force Recon Company where he served for two years. Following his tour with 1st Force Recon Company, LtCol Butler was assigned to Very Shallow Water Mine Counter Measures Detachment (VSW MCM Det.) at Naval Amphibious Base, Coronado. During this assignment, VSW MCM Det. was commissioned as the Naval Special Clearance Team One (NSCT 1). He served with this command from May 2001 to Jan 2004 as a Dive Platoon Commander, Division Officer in Charge and Assistant Officer in Charge.


In February 2004, he was assigned to 1st Battalion 5th Marines where he served as the Information Operations Officer and was then given command of Weapons Company. While assigned to 1st Battalion 5th Marines, LtCol Butler applied for and was accepted to the Special Education Program and then assigned to the Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) program at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. As part of this program, he attended the University of Maryland College Park from June 2006 to June 2007 where he received a Masters of Professional Studies. For the remaining two years of this assignment, he served as a Company Officer for 15th Company at the United States Naval Academy.


In September 2008, LtCol Butler attended the U.S. Marine Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC) Assessment Selection course where he was selected and then received orders to 3d Marine Special Operations Battalion where he assumed command of Kilo Company from August 2009 to September 2011.


In September 2011, LtCol Butler was assigned to Special Operations Command Africa to serve in a Joint Staff Billet.  LtCol Butler initially served as the North/West Africa Desk Officer in the SOJ56 and was then selected as the Executive Officer to RDML Losey, Commander of Special Operations Command Africa from April 2012 to June 2013. LtCol Butler completed his Joint Staff Officer tour as the Special Operations J55 Division Chief responsible for plans, strategy, programs and assessments.


In June 2014, LtCol Butler was assigned as the Executive Officer, Marine Raider Regiment, U.S. Marine Corps Special Operations Command. While serving as the XO, he was selected for assignment as the Deputy Commander of the first Naval Special Warfare led Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force to Iraq from February 2015 to January 2016. Upon his return from deployment he resumed his duties as the Executive Officer of the Marine Raider Regiment. He is currently assigned as the Commander of 3d Marine Raider Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Special Operations Command.