Marine Major Michael David Stover was born September 4, 1962 in Mansfield, Ohio, he was the beloved brother of Cheryl Elaine and Major Edward A. Stover.
He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps after graduating from Malabar High School in 1980. He earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism from The Ohio State University in 1990.
He was assigned to Marine Wing Support Squadron-371, Marine Wing Support Group-37, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona. He was recently selected to be promoted to lieutenant colonel, and was currently serving of his second deployment in the Middle East.
His military awards and decorations include, the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals (x3) and the Iraq Campaign Medal.
Major Michael David Stover lost his battle on June 3, 2006, in Al Anbar, Iraq. He was 43 years old.
“Major Stover was unlike any other officer I had served with before; he was personable, approachable, and had an understanding of the enlisted side that most seemed to look past. Granted, as a Mustang (enlisted turned officer), he had been in the trenches before. And he never forgot about where he had come from. As our operations officer in Iraq, Major Stover was the one who got us the gear we needed, who ensured his Marines were taken care of with everything they needed for mission success and personal well-being. He expected professionalism and integrity, and in return was equally respectful and caring. The Marine Corps was his family, and he treated us all in that manner.
Major Stover was only with MWSS-371 for a short time before we deployed, but he quickly became a very popular and respected leader. It wasn’t until we arrived in country at Al Taqaddum Air Base that I got to know him a bit better. My favorite memory of him was a month into our deployment when we as a group were having a conversation about what was needed for the individual guard huts around the flight line. It sticks out to me as a defining moment of my respect for the man. I should clarify – the leadership was having the conversation while we, the ones who stood guard, were present in the room. In the middle of the conversation, Major Stover stopped everyone and asked a frank question to the leaders.
“Which one of you are actually standing post in these huts?”
None of the senior leaders rose their hands as it was not their position.
“Okay then – let’s ask the Marines who are standing guard for what they need first, then build from there.”
It was in this moment that not only Major Stover gave us a platform to speak, but the respect to be heard on the matter, and from there, establishing his leadership of all Marines.
He was a man who had the call of adventure pumping through his blood, a man who had never let go of his Espirit De Corps, and never wanted to fail his Marines. He fought hard for everyone under his care and only asked for the respect and professionalism that he earned in return. He was humble, charismatic, and always had a great story to tell when the time was right. From planning a little comedy show to helping to build sports field for us to burn off energy. He was always there for his family, for his Marines.”