Michael "Rifle" DeLong is a retired lieutenant general of the United States Marine Corps, whose last military assignment was Deputy Commander of United States Central Command during the start of the Afghanistan War (2001-) and Iraq War. At present, he is Executive Vice President of Shaw Environmental and Infrastructure International and the President of Shaw CENTCOM Services. He is also on the Board of Directors for Sykes Enterprises, Tampa, Florida.
He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering, and became a Marine Aviator. His education includes Marine Basic School, Naval Flight School, Amphibious Warfare School, Defense Intelligence School, Armed Forces Staff College, Army War College and a Defense Department fellowship at the Brookings Institution. He has a Masters Degree in Industrial Management from Central Michigan University and an honorary Doctorate in Strategic Intelligence from the Joint Military Intelligence College in Anacostia, Maryland.
He was a combat helicopter pilot in the Vietnam War; he has over 5600 flight hours and 800 combat hours.
His staff assignments included Officer-in-Charge, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific Command Center; Intelligence Requirements Officer, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific; Aide de Camp to the Deputy Commander, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific; Arms Control/Strategic Weapons Action Officer in the Strategic Requirements Branch of the Plans Division, Headquarters Marine Corps; and the Director for Joint Training (J-7) and Director of Joint Training Analyses and Simulation Center, United States Atlantic Command.
He had been recommended as Deputy Commander by GEN Anthony Zinni, for whom he had worked when Zinni was the commander of combat operations for coalition operations in Somalia. At the time Zinni, then commanding CENTCOM, had recommended Army GEN Tommy Franks to succeed him. DeLong had then been commanding the 1st Marine Air Wing.
- Michael DeLong with Noah Lukeman (2009), Inside CENTCOM: the Unvarnished Truth about the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Regnery, ISBN 0895260204