Stephen Michael Estelmann was born in Portsmouth, Virginia on 10 October 1948.  The son of a naval officer, he grew up near naval submarine bases, and graduated from Saint John’s College High School in Washington, D.C.  He enlisted in the U.S. Army on 18 January 1968 and attended the United States Military Academy Preparatory School.  He entered West Point on 1 July 1968 and departed 9 March 1970 due to hospitalization for pneumonia.  After convalescing, he eventually entered The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, to pursue an Army commission.  Upon graduation on 6 May 1974, he was commissioned a second lieutenant.  After Field Artillery Officer Basic, his first assignment was Battery B, 1st Battalion, 38th Artillery, 2nd Infantry Division at Camp Stanley, Republic of Korea.  He next served in US Army Military Community Activity, Wurzburg, Germany, and then as S2 and a battery commander in the 3rd Battalion, 35th Artillery in Wertheim, Germany.  After serving forty months in Germany, he returned to Fort Sill for the Field Artillery Advanced Course.  He remained as an Artillery Tactics Instructor for the FA Basic Course, and later for the FA Advanced Course.  In 1983, he returned to Germany, assigned to the TACFIRE New Equipment Training Team in Munich, as a Fire Support Element Instructor and then a Division Artillery Instructor.  After twenty-nine months in Munich, he returned to Wertheim as the S3 of the 3rd Battalion, 35th Artillery, a position he held for twenty-three months.  He was selected for attendance at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.  After graduating in the Class of 1988, he remained at CGSC as an instructor and an author in the Directorate of Joint Combat Operations, retiring on 31 January 1993. His military awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, 3rd Award, Army Commendation Medal, 3rd Award, Army Achievement Medal, 2nd Award, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, 2nd Award, Humanitarian Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, 3rd Award, and Expert Marksmanship Badge, Pistol.  He was a member of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. His military schooling included the Field Artillery Basic and Advanced Officer Courses, the Joint Firepower Control Course, the Combat Arms Service Staff School, the TACFIRE Support Course, the Defense Strategy Course, the NATO Staff Officer Orientation Course, and the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. His civilian academic degrees include a Bachelor of Arts from The Citadel in 1974, a Master of Arts from Baker University in 1990, and a Juris Doctorate from Washburn University in 1999. In September 2003, Mike returned to his beloved Germany as the Chief, International Military Training in the G3 of the 7th Army Training Center (ATC) at Grafenwöhr.  As such, he served a pivotal role in the transformation of the 7th Army ATC into the Joint Multinational Training Command. He is survived by his wife, Debbie, and their son, Alex. Memorial contributions are welcome through The Citadel Foundation, which manages gift-giving for The Citadel, Mike’s alma mater. Tags: 1974

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