NATCHITOCHES – In continuing the Northwestern State University’s long-held tradition of recognizing military service at home athletic events, the university welcomed Master Sergeant Michael R. Blakely and his family to Natchitoches April and honored his service to the nation prior to the NSU-Sam Houston football game.
Blakely is an Infantryman with over 19 years of active service in the U.S. Army. He brings a wealth of experience to NSU as the ROTC Senior Military Instructor. Most recently, he was the Brigade Operations Noncommissioned Officer for Operations Group, Joint Readiness Training Center, Fort Polk. Through Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and Inherent Resolve, Master Sergeant Blakely has served 57 months in combat.
His military education includes the Basic Leader Course, Advanced Leader Course, Senior Leader Course, Basic Airborne School, Jumpmaster School, Infantry Mortar Leader Course and the US Army Drill Sergeant Academy.
Blakely’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters, Valorous Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Citation, Army Good Conduct Medal with five knots, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with three Service Stars, Iraq Campaign Medal with two Service Stars, Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal with three Service Stars, Global War on Terror Service Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon with 3 Numeral, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon with 4 Numeral, and the NATO Medal. Additionally, he has earned the Drill Sergeant Identification Badge, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, and Parachutist Badge.
Master Sergeant Blakely hails from Vashon Island, Washington. He and his wife Jennifer have three children, Michael, Kaelyn and newborn Emily Gael.