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USAR Brigadier General, MHS Wall of Fame member Michael Silva dies

A folded flag sits on a casket during ceremonial funeral training at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Feb. 22, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Sadie Colbert/Released)

U.S. Army Reserves brigadier general and Manhattan High School Wall of Fame member Michael J. Silva has died.

Silva, a 1974 MHS graduate, died Monday at his home in Olathe. He was 66 years old. Silva’s daughter, Christina Silva, confirmed her father’s passing on social media Monday. She wrote that her father “peacefully took his last breath on this earth surrounded by loved ones.”

“It is with great sadness that we share that God has called another faithful soldier home,” Silva’s family wrote on his Facebook account Monday. “His battle is over, and he can now lay down his sword and rest.”

Silva was born on Aug. 28, 1956. According to the Manhattan High School Alumni Association, Silva entered into the MHS Wall of Fame in 2008. During his time at MHS, Silva applied for an ROTC scholarship at Kansas State University. A K-State military science professor and counselors at MHS encouraged him to apply to West Point Military Academy. He was accepted and later graduated from West Point in 1978.

The West Point Association of Graduates confirmed Silva’s death on its website Tuesday. During his 33-year Army career, Silva held operations, training, senior staff, and command positions in various assignments including deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq and Qatar. He also served a tour in the Pentagon in the Iraq Interagency Support group resolving issues between the Department of Defense and the Department of State. Additionally, he deployed as the commanding general of the 411th Engineer Brigade in Balad, Iraq, supporting the Multi-National Corps Iraq.

In 2017, Silva was named as national president of the U.S. Army Reserve Officer Association, taking over for retired Col. Walker Williams III of the U.S. Air Force. In 1988, Silva was the inaugural recipient of the Gen. Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award. The following year, the engineer company Silva commanded won the Lt. Gen. Emerson Itschner Award as the best engineer company in the U.S. Army. He was awarded the Combat Action Badge, the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and many other medals for his service.

Silva received a master’s in business administration from Furman-Clemson University and a master’s in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College. Most recently, he worked as a financial advisor for The General Associates Wealth Advisors in Olathe.

Visitation for Silva will be Jan. 13 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeed Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Ave. in Manhattan. Funeral services are set for Jan. 14 at 9:30 a.m. at Seven Dolors Catholic Church, 221 S. Juliette Ave. in Manhattan.


(c) 2023 The Manhattan Mercury

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