Born in 1939 to Italian parents in Libya, Michael D'Antonio emigrated with his family from Italy to the United States in 1948. He joined the Army in 1967 and trained as a CH-47 helicopter mechanic at Fort Eustis, Virginia. Following assignments in Vietnam and the United States and promotion to Sergeant First Class, he was appointed a warrant officer in 1976.
From 1976 through 1982, D'Antonio served as Shop Technician and Platoon Leader, first in the 701st Maintenance Company, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas, and then in the 48th Maintenance Company, Baumholder, Germany. At Fort Riley, his shop provided division-level maintenance support and heavy combat vehicle recovery; at Baumholder, it provided area support for 34 units with 1,500 vehicles and weapons.
In 1982, D'Antonio returned to the States as a Senior Course Writer at the Ordnance Center and School, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, where he put his field expertise to use designing training courses for welders, machinists, and ground support equipment mechanics. Upon completing that mission, he was transferred to the Metalworking Services Division, where he supervised 49 instructors training more than 900 Soldiers a year. He was also involved with the Warrant Officer Restructuring Program and ensured that the interests of Allied Trades Technicians were represented.
From 1985-1987, D'Antonio was assigned as Advisor and Training Team Chief to the US Military Group, El Salvador. He trained local nationals to maintain vehicles and equipment, established a repair parts storage and issue facility, set up a fabrication and rebuild facility, devised an automated stock control system for repair parts and supplies, and managed a $6 million budget.
D'Antonio returned to the Ordnance Center and School in 1987 to serve as Proponent Warrant Officer in the Office of the Chief of Ordnance. He aligned warrant officer career management to comply with the Total Warrant Officer System and conducted boards to review warrant officer applications to ensure that the best noncommissioned officers were selected to compete for appointments. In 1990, he became Division Chief of the Metalworking Services Division of the Ordnance Center and School. In this capacity, he not only supervised the Division's 49 instructors, but also became the project officer for the construction of Cohen Hall, a $7.6 million state-of-the-art training facility for metalworking services. In addition, he assumed responsibility for disassembling a 500-ton, 16-inch coastal defense gun, moving it from the Aberdeen Test Center, and reassembling it at its present location on the Ordnance Museum grounds.
D'Antonio served his final tour of duty as Advisor to the Honduran Technical Training Center from 1996 to 2000. He trained Honduran personnel in school management, instructor development, and course development in the areas of welding, machining, weapons repair, electronics, textile repair, automotive maintenance, body and fender repair, and painting. He also advised the Honduran Army, Navy, and Air Force on all matters pertaining to maintenance and logistics.
CW5 Michael D'Antonio retired in 2000 after 33 years of dedicated service to the Army and the Ordnance Corps.