March Airman Spotlight

  • Published
  • By 175th Wing Public Affairs

Name: Michael Caporellie
Rank: Tech. Sgt.
Unit: 175th Maintenance Squadron
Job Description: Aircrew Egress Systems Specialist
Fulltime job: Navigation Engineer for US Army Communications - Electronics Research, Development, and Engineering Center
Hometown: Havre de Grace, MD
Joined the MDANG: August 18, 2005
Total Service years: 10 years
Family: Mother: SMSgt Patricia Jozwiak MD ANG; Father: SMSgt William Caporellie (Retired) NJ ANG; Brother: SSgt William Caporellie DC ANG; and sister
Favorite Movie: Star Wars
Last book read: Child 44
Favorite food: Italian
Favorite Sports Team: Philadelphia Eagles and Virginia Tech Hokies

Tell us your brief life story?

I was born in Lansdowne, Pa. and grew up in Collingdale, Pa., both of which are on the outskirts of Philadelphia. This is where I gained my love for Italian food, the Philadelphia Eagles, and Philly Cheesesteaks. When I turned 9 years old, my father relocated to Baltimore, Md. for work. My parents saw this as their opportunity to move out of a declining neighborhood in Collingdale and move to Havre de Grace, Md. My family has lived in Maryland ever since.

I attended Havre de Grace High School, where I excelled in academics, and graduated 5th in my senior class. Along with academics, I played for the Varsity Baseball team and was a member of the Boy Scouts of America. I earned my Eagle Scout award by completing a service project to remove and replace overgrown evergreen bushes, beautifying the grounds at Havre de Grace High School. 

After high school, I followed my interest of science and math by completing a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace and Aeronautical Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. During college I held an engineering internship with the US Army Aberdeen Test Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground. 

Upon graduation from college, I accepted an engineer position with the Defense Contract Management Agency. There I oversaw production level work from numerous Department of Defense (DOD) contractors and evaluated contract proposals. My current occupation is a Navigation Engineer. I conduct research and development, design, testing, and evaluation of integrated navigation technologies.

Tell us about your military career?

I originally joined the military to help pay for my education. The choice to join the Air National Guard (ANG) was an easy because both of my parents have been members of the Air Force, active duty and National Guard. They encouraged me to consider serving my country as they both have seen the benefits first hand.

I joined the ANG in August of 2005 and selected Aircrew Egress Systems as my military job. I attended Basic Military Training (BMT) at Lackland Air Force Base in July 2006, where I earned the Marksmanship Ribbon for weapons qualification with the M-16 rifle. Immediately following BMT, I attended Aircrew Egress Technical School at Sheppard Air Force Base in August 2006. I completed my training as the only person to ever score 100 percent throughout the entire course.

Throughout 10 years of service I have become a fully qualified 7-Level Aircrew Egress Specialist with Red-X Orders. I deployed to Bagram, Afghanistan in 2012. I have deployed in support of Red Flag, Alaska and Operation Snowbird. I traveled to Fort Wayne, Indiana to assist their Egress Shop in time sensitive maintenance during their recent Air Expeditionary Forces Deployment
In August 2015, I accepted an offer to become a Logistics Readiness Officer position with the Logistics Readiness Squadron.

What brought you to the MDANG?  How have you enjoyed your time here?

I joined the MDANG because it was the closest unit to me geographically. It was a choice that I made to help myself financially with the costs of education. Additionally, I love the A-10 Thunderbolt II and it has been a great experience working on such an important aircraft. After 10 years in service, I am looking forward to finishing out my career and awaiting new challenges in my journey as an officer in the ANG. 

What is your favorite Air Force or military memory or story?

My proudest moment is tied between two. The first moment was graduating from BMT and having my Mother in the crowd watching. Finding her in the crowd after the ceremony and knowing how proud she was of me was a great experience.

My other proudest moment was when I received the news that I had been selected for the Logistic Readiness Officer position. Becoming an officer has always been something that I wanted to do, but in recent years, it was something that I put on the back burner. I am so glad that I made the push to take the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test and submit my application for the position.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about family, friends, staying active and fit, good beer, and great food.  I really have a love for cooking and sharing what I make with others. If I could do anything and get paid for it, I would probably want to own my own bar/restaurant. This is something that is a long ways off as far as dreams go.  It is not something I would quit my current career for, however, it is something I would love to explore when the time is right.