Iron Mike Healy – RIP

Iron Mike Healy

Iron Mike Healy – RIP. A legendary U.S. Army Special Forces officer died on Saturday, April 14, 2018 in Jacksonville, Florida. Retired Major General Michael D. Healy joined the Army shortly before the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II. One year after enlisting he attended Officer Candidate School (OCS) at Fort Benning, Georgia. He participated in the Korean War and the Vietnam War. He served 35 years in the U.S. Army.

During the Korean War he was a member of the 4th Airborne Ranger Company. He was awarded a Bronze Star and earned his name Iron Mike Healy.

He served in Vietnam during several tours – one as commander of the 5th Special Forces Group. Other tours included assignments as a senior advisor, battalion commander, and brigade commander. On one of his tours in Vietnam he was instrumental in the initial formation and employment of the Civil Operations Rural Development Project – the successor to the Civilian Irregular Defense Group (CIDG).

Iron Mike Healy was one of the commanders of the John F. Kennedy Institute for Special Warfare at Fort Bragg, North Carolina in the early 1970s. At that time there were very few Special Forces general officers. All the Special Forces groups, Civil Affairs, Psychological Operations units reported to him. In addition, Special Forces Training Group and the other special warfare schools were under his command.

His awards included three Distinguished Service Medals, two Silver Stars, the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, seven Bronze Stars with Valor, two Purple Hearts, and many more. He also was awarded parachute badges from the Republic of Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Korea, Iran, and Pakistan. He retired from the Army in February 1981.

On July 23, 2015 Major General Mike Healy was inducted into the Special Forces Regiment in a ceremony conducted in Jacksonville, Florida. [1]


References about Iron Mike Healy 

Michael D. Healy, WikipediA has a detailed account of MG (Ret) Mike Healy’s Army career. Vietnam era Special Forces veterans will enjoy this story about Iron Mike Healy establishing a SF band to tour SF A camps in  Vietnam.

Colonel Healy’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, by George “Sonny” Hoffman, 1994.

Green Berets’ Former Leader Takes On Chicago Gangs,, April 28, 1981.

Special Forces Association Chapter XXXVII is named after MG Michael D. Healy.

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