Michael Duncan Wyly is a native of Kansas City, Missouri. He took the oath as a Marine Private in 1957, two days after his 17th birthday. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Marines on 6 June 1962 upon graduation from the United StatesNavalAcademy, Annapolis.. He requested “Infantry Officer” as his specialty, and his request was granted.
Following a tour on Okinawa as a rifle platoon commander he received special training at the U.S. Army’s JohnF.KennedySchool for Special Warfare and was assigned in 1964 to instruct in the 1st Marine Division’s Counterguerrilla/Counterinsurgency School at Camp Pendleton, California. When the 1st Marine Division deployed to Vietnam in 1965, because of his special training in Counterinsurgency and Vietnamese Language, he was assigned as Division Psychological Warfare Officer operating with Vietnamese Popular forces in the villages of Quang Nam and Quang Tri Provinces with a mission of winning the support of Vietnamese people in the countryside and bringing about defections among the Viet Cong.
He was promoted to Captain of Marines in 1966 and reassigned to Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C., from which he volunteered for a second tour in Vietnam, this time as Commanding Officer of a Rifle Company, Company D, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines. Company D saw intensive combat West of DaNang in the An Hoa Basin, the SongThuBonRiverValley and what became known as the “ArizonaTerritory” and “Go Noi Island”. He was wounded in the head and received the Purple Heart Medal and Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V” for valor.
Upon return to the United States and continuation of his Marine Corps career through the ranks of major, lieutenant colonel, and colonel, he served overseas two more times in the Western Pacific as Operations Officer and Executive Officer of Ready Afloat Battalion 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines (“Magnificent Bastards”) and subsequently as Assistant Chief of Staff for Training, Marine Corps Bases, Pacific. Stateside tours included Quantico, Virginia, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense, The Pentagon. Throughout his post-war service, Colonel Wyly published prolifically in military journals and taught in Marine Corps Professional Schools at Quantico while leading a revision of Marine Corps tactics with a view toward making them fully relevant to the exigencies of modern war. In keeping with this endeavor he earned a Masters Degree in Russian and Military History from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C., receiving his diploma in 1983. His final tour before retirement in 1992 was at Quantico, Virginia, where he headed the Concepts and Plans Division of the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab and subsequently was assigned as the first Vice President of the Marine Corps University, a top-level professional school established in 1989 based on a concept he had personally proposed in 1987 to Commandant of the Marine Corps General Alfred M. Gray. In the course of these assignments he was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal and the Legion of Merit.
Subsequent to retirement in 1992, Colonel Wyly moved to Maine where he founded Bossov Ballet Theatre, a pre-professional school and performing company devoted to classical ballet and formed around Russian Ballet Maestro Andrei Bossov, formerly a principal with Kirov Ballet, St. Petersburg, Russia.
He has continued to publish in professional journals on modern war and lecture occasionally at military schools. In the July 2008 issue of Armed Forces Journal he published an article titled by the Editor “In Praise of Mavericks”, a memoire of his acquaintance with the late Colonel John Boyd, U.S.A.F. (ret)..
Colonel Wyly and his wife, Linda, currently reside in Pittsfield, Maine, where their two daughters, Laura and Summer, graduated from Maine Central Institute in the Classes of 1999 and 2000 respectively. Laura now lives in Georgetown, Kentucky, and Summer lives in Del Ray Beach, Florida.