Mike grew up in Aurora and attended Aurora Public Schools. He began his distinguished career of serving our country at the age of seventeen. Inspired by his father’s military record, Mike enlisted in the U.S. Army at the end of his junior year in high school. Through the Army, Mike was able to earn a high school diploma. In 1974, he left active duty to attend the University of Colorado under the G.I. Bill where he continued his military career by serving in the U.S. Army Reserve. He graduated from the University of Colorado in 1979 and immediately transferred from the U.S. Army Reserve to the U.S. Marine Corps where he served as an infantry officer.
In 1983, Mike returned home to Colorado and started a small business, an Aurora-based property management company. While in business, he continued serving in the military by joining the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. As a small business owner, Mike saw the need to bring more common sense economic policies to state government so he ran and was elected to the State House of Representatives in 1988 and re-elected in 1990. Shortly after his 1990 re-election, Mike took an unpaid leave of absence from the state legislature and volunteered to return to active duty for the first Gulf War where he served as the executive officer for a light armored infantry company.
In 1998, Mike was elected to the office of State Treasurer and re-elected in 2002. In 2005, the U.S. Marine Corps was under strength in meeting their requirements for the Iraq War and Mike once again answered the call to duty. Mike resigned his position as the State Treasurer and volunteered to return to the U.S. Marine Corps for an assignment in Iraq. In Iraq, Mike was a civil affairs officer where he worked in support of the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq (IECI) in 2005 and in 2006 he was reassigned to help establish interim local governments in the Western Euphrates River Valley.
In 2006, Mike came home after completing a full tour of duty in Iraq and was appointed by Governor Bill Owens to serve out the remainder of his term as the State Treasurer. In 2008, Mike was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Mike is the only veteran in the Colorado delegation and the only Member of Congress to have served in both Iraq Wars. He serves on the Veteran’s Affairs Committee and the Armed Services Committee, where he is Chairman of the Military Personnel Subcommittee.