Michael Lee Lanning
Lanning was born on September 18, 1946 in Sweetwater, Texas. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A & M University in 1968 and his Master of Science from East Texas State University in 1979.
Lanning retired as a lieutenant colonel after more than twenty years in the U.S. Army where he served all across the United States, in Southeast Asia, and in Germany. In Vietnam he led an infantry platoon, a reconnaissance platoon, and a rifle company. In addition to other command and staff positions, he acted as public affairs officer for General H. Norman Schwarzkopf and served a member of the Department of Defense Public Affairs office. During his time in uniform he earned the Senior Parachute Badge, Ranger Tab, Combat Infantryman's Badge, the Bronze Star with "V" device and two oak leaf clusters, the Defense Meritorious Medal and a dozen additional commendation and service awards.