Michael Bye joined the Australian Army in 1990. A graduate of ADFA, RMC-Duntroon and the School of Armour, his first regular service was as a Reconnaissance Troop Leader in the 2nd Cavalry Regiment before moving into a range of operations, plans and liaison functions.
In 1999, he was assigned to the UN Assistance Mission East Timor, to act as a Liaison Officer to the Indonesian Army in the 1999 Timorese referendum on independence. He was closely involved in the evacuation of UN staff and civilians from Dili in early Sept 1999 and UNAMET’s subsequent reinsertion into East Timor. On return to Australia in 2000, he was posted to the School of Armour as the Cavalry Officer Instructor. In Dec 2002, he was assigned to the UN Truce Supervision Organisation and worked as a Military Observer and Operations Officer in Lebanon and Syria. In 2004, Michael assumed command of C Sqn, 2nd Cavalry Regiment and subsequently commanded a Cavalry Combat Team in the 1st Al Muthanna Task Group in Iraq in 2005. In 2006, he attended and graduated from the ACSC, winning the Chief of Joint Operations Prize. In 2007, Michael was appointed as Staff Officer (Admin) to the CDF. In that role, he was exposed to the breadth of ADO issues and the interface between the Department and Federal Government. In 2008, Michael was embedded into the 3 Star Multi National Corps-Iraq HQ as a lead Coalition Plans Officer in the US 18th Airborne Corps.
On promotion to LTCOL, he became the manager for Army’s Intelligence, Surveillance and Recon capabilities (2009-10), and thence the Army Incident Manager (2011). This latter role entailed responsibility for the fatality management and repatriation of 12 personnel killed whilst on operations that year, (and numerous others involved in domestic fatalities), and cross jurisdictional coordination with various state police and coronial offices. Throughout 2012-13 he was Commanding Officer of 2nd Cavalry Regiment in Darwin, and the Commander of the last Army Task Group in Tarin-Kowt (2 Cav Task Force).
In 2014, Michael returned to Canberra to assume instructional duties at ACSC. He was promoted to COL and in 2015 assumed the role of Director of Operational Analysis and Joint Certification at HQJOC. From Jan-May 2016 he was acting Director General International Engagement and Assessments. His most recent COL level appointment has been as Chief of Future Operations in NATO RS HQ CJ5 in Afghanistan. The appointment involved strategic and operational planning and coordination of NATO, US and Afghan Security Force operations at Army and Corps level. Interactions with the Afghan National Security Council, Ministers of Defence, Interior and 4 Star Command of the RS Mission, afforded privileged insights into the sustainment of critical Defence Enterprise management architectures whilst concurrently being subjected to terrorism, violence and economic destabilisation.
In 2017, Michael was seconded from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as the Military Adviser to the Australian Civil-Military Centre.
His awards include the Australian Commendation for Distinguished Service, the NATO Meritorious Service Medal, the US Bronze Star, the US Meritorious Service Medal, and both CA’s and DCJOPS’ Commendations for Exemplary Service.