Lanning, Michael Lee

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Lanning, Michael Lee

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Michael Lee Lanning is a retired U.S. Army liuetenant colonel and author, specializing in military non-fiction.  As of 2015 Lee has written nineteen books and co-authored an additional two.  The majority of his books have focused on military subjects, has recently added sports, health, and biographical reporting to his list of publications.

Lanning was born on September 18, 1946 to James Maurice and Alice Coskey Lanning in Sweetwater, Texas.  Upon graduating from Trent High School in Trent, Texas in 1964, Lanning entered Texas A&M Universtiy.  Lee was a member of the Corps of Cadets in Company D-1 (Spider D).  During his junior year he was a featured writer for _The Agriculturalist,_a publication of technical information concerning agriculture.  Lee married has wife Linda on December 20, 1967.  As a senior he served on the 1st Battalion staff as the Scholastic/Guidence Officer.  Lee graduated in 1968 with a Bachelor of Science degree.

Lanning was commissioned in to the U.S. Army after graduating from Texas A&M as a second lieutenant and reported to Ft. Benning in Georgia for infantry, airborne, and ranger training.  He then transferred to the 82nd Airborne Division at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina where he became a platoon leader of a rifle company.  Lanning depolyed to Vietnam in April of 1969 with the 199th Light Infantry Brigade.  He served as an infantry platoon leader with C Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry for five months followed by a month as the leader of the Battalion's E Company Reconnaissance Platoon.  After only six months in the war zone and less than 17 months in the Army Lee would be promoted to take command of Bravo Company.  Lanning's tour lasted another six months before he rotated back to the United States.

Lee served only one tour of duty in Vietnam as U.S. started to reduce troops in the country and the turning of the war over to the AVRN.  Over the next few years Lee and his wife would be moved around the United States as part of his service.  In 1974 Lanning was given command of another infantry company, this time in Germany.  During his time in the United States and Germany he served as an instructor in the U.S. Army Ranger School, a mechanized infantry company commander with the 3td Infantry Division, and executive officer of an infantry battalion in the 1st Calvalry Division.  He would go on to serve in a non command capacity as the Public Affairs Officer for the 1st Cavalry Division and I Corps, and the plans officer for the American Foreces Information Service.

While stationed at Ft. Lewis, Washington Lee began writing a column for the _Fort Lewis Ranger,_the base newspaper,  called "From the Lee Side" by Michael Lee.  Also as Public Affairs Officer he also in overall charge of the paper.  It was an experience during this time that led him to beginning his first book The Only War We Had: A Plattoon's Leaders Journal of Vietnam. 

In 1988 Lanning retired from the U.S. Army as a Liuetenant Colonel to pursure his writing full time.  His writings would focus on subjects he knew well, the military.


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