Mike Brazelton was born in 1942 in Los Angeles, California. He received his Bachelor's degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from the Northrop Institute of Technology in 1963, and entered Officer Training School at Lackland AFB, Texas, on February 14, 1964. Brazelton was commissioned a 2d Lt in the U.S. Air Force on May 12, 1964, and completed Undergraduate Pilot Training and was awarded his pilot wings at Reese AFB, Texas, in June 1965. He then completed F-105 Thunderchief Combat Crew Training before joining the 357th Tactical Fighter Squadron of the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing at Takhli Royal Thai AFB, Thailand, in February 1966. Lt Brazelton flew 111 combat missions before being forced to eject over North Vietnam and taken as a Prisoner of War on August 7, 1966. After spending 2,402 days in captivity, Capt Brazelton was released during Operation Homecoming on March 4, 1973. He was briefly hospitalized to recover from his injuries at March AFB, California, and then returned to flying status in June 1973. After completing refresher pilot training and instrument pilot instructor school, Brazelton served as an aggressor pilot with the 64th Fighter Weapons Squadron at Nellis AFB, Nevada, from November 1973 to August 1976, followed by Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, from August 1976 to July 1977. He was an F-5 Tiger II Instructor Pilot with the 425th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron at Williams AFB, Arizona, from July 1977 to July 1981, and then attended the Defense Language Institute at the Presidio of Monterey, California, from July 1981 to June 1982. Col Brazelton's next assignment was as Chief of the Military Security Assistance Office in Mexico City, Mexico, from June 1982 to July 1984, followed by the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at Fort McNair, Washington, D.C. from August 1984 to June 1985. He served as Chief of the Latin American Division for Foreign Military Sales with Headquarters U.S. Air Force in the Pentagon from June 1985 to March 1986, followed by service as Chief of the Western Hemisphere Branch of Current Operations on the staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon, from March 1986 until his retirement from the Air Force on October 31, 1987. After retiring from the Air Force, Mike flew for American Airlines from 1989 to 2002. He has accumulated 8,654 hours flying time in the Boeing 727/757/767, McDonnell Douglas MD-11, F-105 Thunderchief, and F-5 Tiger II, of which 2,327 hours were flown during his Air Force career.
His 1st (of 4) Silver Star Citation reads:
First Lieutenant Michael L. Brazelton distinguished himself by gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force in Southeast Asia on 7 August 1965. On that date, Lieutenant Brazelton exhibited heroism involving risk of life while protecting the other members of his flight by attacking an anti-aircraft site which was delivering intense and accurate fire against the flight. He exposed himself for a protracted period of time in order to accurately determine which anti-aircraft site was the highest threat. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Lieutenant Brazelton has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.