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Michael John Tribula was born on April 14, 1948 on the outskirts of Buffalo, New York. Raised in West Seneca, New York, Michael graduated from West Seneca West High School and the State University of New York at Brockport. In 1970, Michael entered the United States Marine Corps Officer Candidate School at Quantico, Virginia. Upon earning a commission as a Second Lieutenant, Michael began training towards a designation as a Marine Aviator. He received initial flight training in T-34’s and T-28’s before transitioning into rotor wing aircraft. As a helicopter aviator, he flew both the UH-1 “Huey” and the CH-46 Sea Knight. In 1972, the Marine Corps possessed a surplus of rotorcraft aviators returning stateside from Vietnam and enacted a reduction in force. Lieutenant Tribula then received additional training as an artillery officer at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Upon graduating from Fort Sill, he was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 10th Marines as a company commander and eventually as a battery commander.

Michael Tribula currently resides in Kinston, North Carolina and is married to the former Barbara Jane McDaniel.