Marksville resident honored
By 2nd Lt. Rebekah Malone
Louisiana National Guard Public Affairs Office
PINEVILLE, La. – Friends and family celebrated Louisiana National Guardsman Col. Michael J. Borrel’s 34 years of service at a retirement ceremony at Camp Beauregard in Pineville, April 21.
Borrel graduated from Marksville High School in Marksville, where he grew up and currently resides. He enlisted into his hometown unit in 1977 and went on to receive his commission in 1982 from Louisiana’s Officer Candidate School. Borrel graduated from Northwestern State University with a bachelor’s degree in general studies before earning a master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College.
“Mike Borrel is a great American, who has served our nation with honor and integrity,” said Brig. Gen. Glenn H. Curtis, the adjutant general of the Louisiana National Guard. “Although he is retiring from the National Guard, we’re fortunate to keep him on our staff where he is assuming the director’s position over our educational programs.”
Borrel served as company commander for B Company, 527th Engineer Battalion, in Marksville, and he said it was an honor to have the opportunity to assist people locally and around the world. He especially enjoyed construction projects that allowed him to serve in his hometown, including building a ball park, as well as overseas missions to Panama and Honduras, where he oversaw the building of roads and bridges.
“Our engineer missions gave something positive back to the community and gave the Soldiers something to be proud of as well,” he said of the engineer efforts.
Borrel served in prestigious positions in the Louisiana Guard, including battalion commander of the 199th Forward Support Battalion, director of oil field reconstruction in Iraq and commander of Task Force Kout Men, the 500-member training exercise to Haiti that constructed four new schools and conducted 10 medical readiness exercises. Borrel also served as the director of joint personnel and manpower for the last five years.
“The opportunity to go to Haiti in 2010 was remarkable – to truly help the country of Haiti that had a devastating earthquake was one of the most rewarding experiences of my career.”
Retirement will not slow Borrel down as he has been named as the director of educational programs for the Louisiana National Guard which oversees three Youth Challenge Programs at Gillis W. Long Center in Carville, Camp Minden in Minden and Camp Beauregard in Pineville, as well as two STARBASE programs located at Jackson Barracks in New Orleans and Camp Beauregard.
“Being given the opportunity to be a part of the changes in at-risk youths in Louisiana is rewarding. YCP has been very successful: to have the opportunity to serve in this capacity is just great,” said Borrel. “I’m honored and excited to be a part of this program.”
Borrel said his long and successful career would not have been possible without the support of his wife, the former Jacqueline Hines.
“The center of gravity is my wife,” said Borrel. “She played a vital role in me being able to dedicate time and commitment into the last 34 and a half years.”
Borrel has received numerous awards during his career, some of which includes the Federal Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, the General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award, Louisiana War Cross and was awarded the Combat Action Badge.
Borrel is a member of the Marksville Lions Club and serves on the City of Marksville Civil Service Board. He is the proud father of two children, Dustin and Vanessa, and has two grandsons, Gage and Peyton.