Mr. Michael Apodaca, stepped-up from his normal role as Deputy Chief Security Officer to serve as the Acting Chief Security Officer for the Mission Support Bureau earlier this year in 2013. Mr. Apodaca comes to FEMA with a wealth of management and leadership experience after recently retiring from the U.S. Army as a Colonel. Prior to joining FEMA, he served as the Commander for a joint law enforcement organization chartered by the Secretary of Defense responsible for conducting terrorist investigations. He was responsible for supervising a large workforce comprised of military and civilian employees, oversight of budget development and execution, ensuring effective implementation of programs, and liaison with numerous law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
Mr. Apodaca also served as the Chief of the U.S. Army Military Police Branch, where his duties included supporting Overseas Contingency Operations and Human Resource issues. His skills in change management and conflict resolution allowed him to increase overall program effectiveness. He has demonstrated experience overseeing the establishment and implementation of appropriate security policies, standards, and procedures.
Mr. Apodaca’s prior military career also includes serving as a Director of Emergency Services for a U.S. Army installation with a population of over 100,000. He was responsible for management of security efforts to protect personnel, facilities, and classified information. He reduced crime by establishing a collaborative relationship and training opportunities between a contract security guard force, Department of the Army police, and military police personnel. Mr. Apodaca was responsible for creating and managing key relationships between Federal, State, local, and FEMA entities.
Mr. Apodaca is a combat veteran having served as a Military Police Battalion Commander in Iraq during 2006-2007. He led a battalion task force consisting of 10 Active Duty, Reserve, Army National Guard units, and 1 Air Force Security Forces unit with over 1,800 Soldiers and Airmen, plus 200 civilian international police advisors dispersed throughout Northern Iraq. He also served as the lead Coalition Force trainer in Multi-National Division-North (MND-N) of the Iraqi Police Services (IPS) through the fielding and training of Police Transition Teams. As the Senior Police Advisor he planned, developed, implemented, monitored, and evaluated police development and other assistance projects across Iraq, ultimately ensuring the safety and security of the Iraqi people.
Mr. Apodaca has received several top honors during his distinguished career with the military; including the Legion of Merit award, the Bronze Star Medal, two Defense Meritorious Service Medals, four Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, the Combat Action Badge, the Parachutist Badge, the Air Assault Badge among many other honors and awards.
Mr. Apodaca is a graduate from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. He also earned a Master of Science Degree in Industrial Engineering from Murray State University in 1997 and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Texas at El Paso in 1986.