On February 9, 2015 I checked the Congressional Record sub section “executive communications” too see what types of letters are coming into Congress on any particular day.
On this occasion one letter caught my attention because it happened to mention the name of the commander of the 4th Infantry Division, Colonel Michael Tarsa. It seems he is due for a promotion..
The note read as follows:
“A letter from the Under Secretary, Personnel and Readiness, Department of Defense, transmitting authorization for Colonel Michael J. Tarsa, United States Army, to wear the insignia of the grade of brigadier general, pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 777; to the Committee on Armed Services.”
Source: Congressional Record
In my experience a letter like this is a done deal promotion at this point. Tarsa advances from Col to Brigadier General just as soon as authorization goes through – if it hasn’t already.
COL Mike Tarsa is a 1987 graduate of the United States Military Academy. From April 1988-April 1992, he served as Fire Direction Officer, Platoon Leader and TF Fire Support Officer with 2-3 Field Artillery in Germany. As Platoon Leader, he fought in combat with 1st BDE, 3rd AD during Operations Desert Shield / Desert Storm. After the Advance Course, he reported to 2-8 FA at Fort Ord, CA, then Fort Lewis, WA. In that unit, he served as BN FSO, Adjutant and then Battery Commander. While commanding, COL Tarsa led a two-battery force to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for a six-month humanitarian relief mission. After command, he earned his MBA from Pacific Lutheran University and returned to West Point as the Athlete Admissions Officer and Congressional Liaison. Assigned in June of 2001 to the 25th ID(L) in Hawaii, COL Tarsa first served in 3-7 FA as the BDE FSO, then Executive Officer for 2-11 FA and finally as Executive Officer to the CG, US Army Pacific.
Assigned to the 1st CAV in August of 2004, COL Tarsa deployed to serve as the DIV Chief of Plans and Effects Coordination during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) 2. Upon his return, he assumed command of the 3-82 FA from July 2005-April 2008. In Baghdad for OIF 06-08, COL Tarsa’s unit conducted full spectrum operations in Qadisiyah and Janayn; executed over 2,500 Department of State convoy escort missions and fired over 4,500 rounds of artillery in support of Multinational Division-Baghdad. Following command, COL Tarsa became the Corps Deputy Chief of Staff, then the Chief of Staff of III Corps and Fort Hood. Departing Fort Hood in July 2009, he fulfilled a USAWC Fellowship at the University of Texas. From July 2010-July 2012, COL Tarsa commanded the West Point Garrison followed by an assignment to the Pentagon as the Executive Officer to the 38th Chief of Staff of the Army.
As of 13 February 2014, COL Tarsa became the Acting Senior Commander of 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson, Colorado.
See video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izVsqJ18tvI
See video: 4th Infantry Division Tribute https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VQqd7VJ_nQ
COL Tarsa’s awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Bronze Star Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Army Achievement Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Parachutist badge, the Air Assault badge, and the Ranger tab….