Michael Strange was born on June 6, 1986, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on October 25, 2003, and went on active duty to begin basic training on September 15, 2004. Strange completed basic training at NTC Great Lakes, Illinois, in November 2004, and then attended Cryptologist Technician A School at the Center for Naval Cryptology, Corry Station, in Pensacola, Florida, from November 2004 to April 2005. His first assignment was as a cryptologist technician at Naval Security Group Activity Kunia, Hawaii, from May 2005 to May 2009, followed by service as an Information Operations Petty Officer with Naval Special Warfare Development Group at Dam Neck, Virginia, from May 2009 until he was killed in action when the CH-47 Chinook helicopter he was aboard was shot down in Afghanistan on August 6, 2011. Michael Strange was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. On July 24, 2013, Petty Officer First Class Michael J. Strange was posthumously awarded the National Intelligence Medal for Valor by the Director of National Intelligence, James R. Clapper.
His Bronze Star Medal w/Valor Citation reads:
For heroic achievement in connection with combat operations against the enemy as an Information Operations Operator from June to August 2011. During this period, Petty Officer Strange executed multiple operations and was a part of a Task Force credited with the elimination and detention of numerous enemy combatants including several high-value targets. On 6 August 2011, he served as an Information Operations Operator for a Special Operations element responding to enemy forces escaping from a nearby raid in an enemy contested valley of eastern Afghanistan. Petty Officer Strange, knowing the valley served as an enemy safe haven with no sustained coalition force presence and knowing that his mission was to interdict and ambush an armed enemy force, volunteered to pursue an enemy known to have attacked and killed coalition forces with plans for future attacks. He selflessly chose to interdict the fleeing enemy when he boarded the helicopter with his teammates. The aggressive mission to prevent future attacks on coalition forces ended in tragedy when the helicopter on which he was riding was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade, causing the helicopter to crash, killing all on board. By his extraordinary guidance, zealous initiative, and total dedication to duty, Petty Officer Strange reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
The Combat Distinguishing Device is authorized.