Michael Nicola, United States Army

Lieutenant/Contract Firefighter/EMT-B, Rural Metro Fire

Mike Nicola served in the U.S. army as a mechanic for six and a half years. He was deployed in Iraq and after his second enlistment was up, he was ready to try something new. He was drawn instructively to a career in community service and now serves as a Lieutenant/ EMT-B and contract firefighter for Rural Metro Fire in Joliet, Ill. He credits his time in the military for his success in his civilian role.
“I learned how to be a leader. How to treat my team with respect and teach them. In my current position, I’m the shift leader and have the same responsibilities,” said Nicola. “Emergency responses are inherently high-stress situations. In the military, I learned how to control my adrenaline and led my team with a clear head.”

Rank Achieved
Over the span of two enlistments, Nicola served more than six years and attained the rank of Specialist E-4. Similar to a corporal, but not a non-commissioned officer, the specialist is focused on technical expertise and leads a team.

Areas Served
Nicola served in Iraq.

Favorite Military Experience
Like so many of our GMR veterans, Nicola misses the comradery of the armed services. He enjoyed his tour in Iraq because of those special bonds that are formed in the military. He also appreciated the opportunity to hone his leadership skills.