Airmen of Niagara: Lt. Col. Michael Spargo

Lt. Col. Michael Spargo, Staff Judge Advocate, 914th Airlift Wing, seated in his office, March 4, 2017, Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, N.Y. Spargo has a unique military service history, having served in the South African Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps, Now serving as a traditional reservist in the U.S. Air Force (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Stephanie Sawyer)

Lt. Col. Michael Spargo, Staff Judge Advocate, 914th Airlift Wing, seated in his office, March 4, 2017, Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, N.Y. Spargo has a unique military service history, having served in the South African Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps, Now serving as a traditional reservist in the U.S. Air Force (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Stephanie Sawyer)

NIAGARA FALLS AIR RESERVE STATION, N.Y. --

Meet Lt. Col. Michael Spargo, Staff Judge Advocate here, in the 914th Airlift Wing legal office. He’s served a collective 28 years in the military, beginning from the time he was 18 years old.

Lt. Col. Spargo grew up in South Africa, where military service was mandatory for white males at the time of his enlistment. He served as a Missile Control Operator for the South African Navy. After completing two years of service, he came to the United States, where he would study to obtain an undergraduate degree.

He attended Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J. and while in school, he applied for his U.S. citizenship. After graduating from Rutgers, Spargo received his citizenship, and in the same week, swore into the U.S. Marine Corps.

He entered the Marine Corps as an officer and served as a Judge Advocate for eight years, for the most part in active duty status. When he transferred from an active duty to a reserve unit in the Marine Corps, Spargo worked on the West Coast as a prosecutor for Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS).

With the occurrence of 9/11 and the creation of Homeland Security, Spargo moved to the East Coast to pursue working in Immigration and Customs Enforcement. When he moved to the East Coast, he took a position with the Air Force Reserve. He started working at Niagara Falls ARS in 2010, and became a permanent staff Judge Advocate in 2013.

Since coming to Niagara, Spargo has been deployed once, to Southwest Asia, in 2016. He hopes to deploy again. As for the future, he wants to continue working towards a more cohesive and solid base here at Niagara.

“We’re a much stronger office than we used to be,” says Spargo. “I’d like to see that carry on improving.”