Introducing Parade Marshal Mike Erwin
The United War Veterans Council is proud to announce that Team Red, White and Blue founder Mike Erwin (LTC, U.S. Army Reserve) is a Parade Marshal for the 2018 New York City Veterans Day Parade. Erwin joins Medal of Honor Recipient Flo Groberg in leading our Honorary Committee!
NEW YORK, July 2, 2018 – The United War Veterans Council (UWVC) announced that U.S. Army Reserve Lt. Col. Mike Erwin will serve as an Honorary Marshal of the 2018 New York City Veterans Day Parade.
Erwin, who graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 2002, was commissioned as an intelligence officer for three combat tours with the 1st Cavalry Division and 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne). His service during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004-2005 and Operation Enduring Freedom in 2006-2007 and 2009 earned him two Bronze Star Medals.
In 2010, Erwin founded Team Red, White & Blue (Team RWB), whose mission it is to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their communities through physical and social activity. Team RWB has over 143,000 members and 204 chapters across the country. Mike volunteered as the Executive Director for three years and continues to serve on the Board of Directors. Today, he serves as an Assistant Professor in Leadership & Psychology at West Point, is the co-founder & president of the Positivity Project, a non-profit aiming to empower America’s youth to build positive relationships, and is the CEO of the Character & Leadership Center.
“Lieutenant Colonel Erwin has shown outstanding commitment and dedication to the veteran community, founding an organization that helps veterans reconnect with their communities – a task that initially seems insurmountable to many of us,” said Mark Otto, UWVC Executive Director and U.S. Marine Corps veteran. “We’re honored to have Mike as our Marshal and look forward to marching with him in November.”
Erwin will march alongside Grand Marshal and Medal of Honor-Recipient Florent Groberg. The featured service branch for this year’s parade is the U.S. Army, in which both Erwin and Groberg served. This year’s Parade also holds special significance, as it honors the centennial of World War One, which ended with the signing of an armistice on November 11, 1918. Over 4.7 million Americans served in WWI; nearly 117,000 lost their lives, most while serving in France.
“Veterans have played critical roles throughout our nation’s history, from battlefields across the world to thousands of communities here in America,” said Erwin. “This parade celebrates their bravery, but also their leadership and on-going service to the country. I am humbled and inspired to serve as an Honorary Marshall of the 2018 NYC Veterans Day parade, and to represent the 100,000 veterans in Team Red, White & Blue who are continuing to serve and lead throughout America today!”
Erwin joins the ranks of past distinguished Marshals and Parade Honorees, including astronaut Buzz Aldrin, actor Tony Curtis, and TV legend Normal Lear, as well as local NYC heroes.
Mike Erwin, Founder of Team Red White and Blue, is the CEO of The Character & Leadership Center and co-founder & president of the Positivity Project—a non-profit organization with the mission to empower America’s youth to build positive relationships. He is the co-author of LEAD YOURSELF FIRST by Bloomsbury Press (2017). The book focuses on how solitude strengthens people’s character—and their ability to lead with clarity, balance and
conviction. Mike is also a Lieutentant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves, assigned to the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he serves as an Assistant Professor in
Leadership & Psychology. He also serves as the founding Chairman for Father Vincent
Capodanno High School, outside Fort Bragg, NC.
Mike graduated from West Point in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics. He was commissioned as an Intelligence Officer, serving in three combat tours with the First Cavalry Division and 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne). His service includes deployment to Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004-2005—that involved the Battles of Fallujah and Najaf. Mike also deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2006-2007 and 2009. On those tours, he worked with NATO forces, to include serving as a lead intelligence planner for one of the largest NATO-led combat operation in history. Mike earned two Bronze Star Medals from these tours.
Following his third deployment, Mike attended the University of Michigan from 2009-2011, where he studied positive psychology and leadership under the tutelage of the co- founder of positive psychology, Dr. Chris Peterson. He went on to serve as an Assistant Professor in Psychology & Leadership at the U.S. Military Academy from 2011-2014. While assigned to West Point as a Major, Mike served as a lead planner for the Bob McDonald Global Leadership Conference and was the aide-de-camp to the Class of 1951 Chair for the Study of Leadership, held by Jim Collins and then Tom Tierney.
While in graduate school in 2010, Mike founded Team Red, White & Blue (Team RWB), a non-profit organization. Team RWB’s mission is to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their communities through physical and social activity. He volunteered as the Executive Director for 3 years and continues to serve on the Board of Directors. Team RWB has 138,000 members and 212 chapters across the world and counts Apple, Nike, Starbucks, Walmart, Microsoft, Amazon, the Bernie Marcus Foundation, and Howard Schultz Family Foundation as some of its strategic partners.
Born and raised in Syracuse, NY, Mike now lives in the Village of Pinehurst, NC, with his wife Genevieve, who graduated from the University of Texas-Austin. They are proud and grateful parents to four young children; Eli, Adelaide, Therese and Matthias.