Michael was born in Edison, New Jersey and attended Fairleigh Dickinson University in Florham Madison, where he received a BS in Biology. Unclear on his future career path, and not desirous into going into the medical or dentistry fields, he decided to join the Navy and “see the world”. Taking classes through summer and Christmas breaks, he completed his required course load one semester early allowing him to attend Officers Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island spring class. This unusual sequence of events required him to obtain special permission to take leave from Officers Candidate School so he could attend his college graduation since Fairleigh Dickinson only graduated its classes once per year. His official graduation from college and his commissioning as a Ensign both occurred within one month of the other. His initial assignment was to the USS Stump, DD 978 where he completed his qualification as Surface Warfare Officer. Following his qualification he applied for and was accepted for transfer to the Engineering Duty Officer Community. His first assignment as an Engineering Duty Officer was to the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California where he received his Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering. He devoted the next twenty four years of his Naval career maintaining and modernizing surface ships and submarines. His favorite and most memorable tour was Chief Engineer aboard of the Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). He would go back and do it again in a heartbeat if asked. Michael explains below why he is so passionate for his tour as Cheng on the TR.