Captain Gary Michael (Mike) Rose was born on 17 October 1947 in Watertown, New York, and was raised in Southern California. After graduating from James Monroe High School in Sepulveda in 1965, he attended California State College at Northridge. In April 1967, Rose enlisted in the US Army.
After completing Infantry training, he graduated from the Army’s Airborne School and Special Forces program. He deployed to Thailand as a Special Forces Medic in April 1969 and in April 1970, volunteered for Vietnam service with the 5th Special Forces Group, MACV-SOG. He was wounded on his first mission in June 1970 and received his first Bronze Star Medal with "V" for combat heroism and Purple Heart.
During the period 11-14 September 1970, Rose was the medic for an American, Vietnamese and Montagnard company-sized exploitation force airlifted into Laos during Operation Tailwind. The company was continuously engaged by a well-armed and numerically superior enemy. During this 4-day mission, Rose administered first aid to half of the company and was wounded multiple times. For his actions he was awarded the Medal of Honor. His citation reads in part, "… Rose continuously exposed himself to intense fire as he fearlessly moved from casualty to casualty, administering lifesaving first aid… Rose continued to pull and carry… wounded personnel out of the burning wreckage… His extraordinary heroism… [is] in keeping with the highest traditions of military service…" In addition to the above honors, he was awarded an additional Bronze Star with "V", two more Purple Hearts and the Air Medal.
In 1973, Rose graduated from Officer Candidate School and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant. He graduated from Cameron University (Lawton, OK) and earned an MA degree in Communication at the University of Oklahoma. After his military retirement in 1987, he pursued a career in technical writing. Fully retired, he volunteers with the Knights of Columbus in Huntsville, Alabama.