Congressman Paul McHale
Military History

D-15th District-Pennsylvania


Mr. McHale volunteered with the U.S. Marine Corps following his graduation from Lehigh University in 1972 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in December of that year. He spent two years on active duty, including an overseas deployment as a rifle platoon leader with the Second Battalion, Fourth Marines, teaching infantry tactics and jungle warfare on Okinawa and in the Philippines. He was released from active duty in 1974 at which time he joined VTU 4-57 in Washington, DC. In 1977 Mr. McHale was promoted to the rank of Captain.

From 1974 until 1977, McHale served as a platoon commander with Supply Company, Fourth FSSG; Special Project Officer, Headquarters Marine Corps; and Reserve Infantry Liaison officer, Camp Lejeune, N.C. During the period between 1977 and 1980, McHale was assigned to the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) and received an Honorable Discharge in April 1980.

In early November 1983, immediately following the bombing of the Marine BLT headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon, McHale formally requested the reappointment of his Marine Reserve commission. Mr. McHale was granted a reappointment of his commission infantry company commander of E Company, Second Battalion, 25th Marines. In October 1988, McHale was promoted to the rank of Major.

From 1987 until 1990, McHale was assigned to the IRR, including a tour of duty as a member of MTU PA-6. In 1989, McHale served as an instructor in advanced infantry tactics at the School of Infantry, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

In August, 1990, following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, while performing his regularly scheduled annual training with the First Battalion, Seventh Marines, Mr. McHale volunteered for extended active duty in the Persian Gulf. Assigned briefly as the battalion Executive Officer, Mr. McHale later assumed the responsibilities of Assistant Operations Officer (S-3A) for the Seventh Marine Regiment (Task Force Ripper). On August 16, 1990, Major McHale landed in Saudi Arabia and was among the first Marines deployed to that area. In October, he returned home, but volunteered for a second tour in November. Between January and April 1991, Major McHale served as a Marine infantry officer in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait assigned as the Assistant Operations Officer (S3-A) for the Second Battalion, 24th Marines. He resigned from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in late February to serve in the Gulf War. Major McHale was released from active duty in May 1991.

Congressman McHale's military awards and decorations include the Kuwait Liberation Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Southwest Asia Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal (2nd Award), Organized Marine Corps Reserve Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Navy Unit Commendation, Navy Commendation Medal (2nd award), the Marine Corps League Distinguished Citizen Award, the Marine Corps Command and Staff College Foundation of 1995 Semper Fidelis Award and the Marine Corps Reserve Officers Association 1997 Frank M. Tejeda Leadership Award.

On September 12, 1994, Mr. McHale was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

McHale has frequently lectured in government and military policy on the campuses of many colleges and universities, including the U.S. Army War College and the U.S. Naval Academy, where he currently serves on the Board of Visitors.

Congressman McHale is a member of the House National Security Committee where he has been assigned as a member of the Readiness Subcommittee and Research and Development Subcommittee.

6/13/97

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