SSG Michael Owen was born on September 24, 1973 in Camp Lejeune, NC and entered the Army on October 14, 1992.

After completing basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, MO, he went to Fort Lee, VA for Advanced Individual Training (AIT) as an Automated Logistical Specialist. He was assigned to HHC, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, NC. His other assignments included Warner Barracks, Germany; 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) Fort Bragg, NC; and HSC, 9th Psychological Operations Battalion Fort Bragg.

In 2003, SSG Owen reclassified to be a Psychological Operations Specialist. He completed the PSYOP course on June 18, 2003. Subsequently, he attended the French Special Operations Language course at JFK Special Warfare School, where he graduated on January 30, 2004. SSG Owen was deployed on several training exercises and operational deployments that included Germany, Mali, Africa, Haiti and Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

SSG Owen’s military education includes Basic Airborne Course, Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) Professional Development Course, Jumpmaster Course, Psychological Operations Specialist Course, and the French Special Operations Language Training Course. SSG Owen’s awards and decorations include the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star Medal with Valor, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal (4th award), the National Defense Service Medal (2nd award), the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the NCO Professional Development Ribbon, the Overseas Ribbon, the Driver’s Badge, the Senior Parachutist Badge, and Honor Graduate Psychological Operations Class April 2003.

SSG Owen is survived by his wife, Crystal Owen and his mother Kay Hutchison.

Character Strength Stories:

Leadership & Bravery - SSG Owen was Team Chief of Tactical Psychology Operations Team 951, B Company, 9th PSYOP Battalion (Airborne) who was in support of the 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Camp Al Qu’im, Iraq. He led his team of Special Operations commandos on numerous unconventional warfare missions, focused on countering enemy combatant actions and their attempts to negatively influence the indigenous population. His teams psychological operations and cultural assessments resulted in the collection and analysis of various forms of hostile propaganda, identification, and development of critically needed intelligence, and disruption of terrorist networks. On October 15, 2004, fully aware that enemy forces were targeting psychological operation teams due to their effectiveness against enemy offensive operations in the area, SSG Owen planned, coordinated, and led a counter operation in the town.

-Submitted by Crystal, Surviving Wife

 Michael's life and legacy was honored on the 2023 Spartan Leadership Program.


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