In 2014, after 12 years of stellar service to our country as a U.S. Marine Corps Raider, Staff Sergeant Michael Bloch, a highly decorated combat veteran, left active duty with an Honorable Discharge. Even after leaving active duty, Bloch continued service as an Intelligence Contractor with the elite Joint Special Operations Command for seven years before starting EBS, a Defense Contracting Company.
A year after his separation, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) determined that Bloch was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) as a result of trauma he experienced during his multiple combat tours.
To help address his challenges related to these issues, Bloch was prescribed a medication called ‘Nuvigil.’
Medical examiners have identified severe negative side-effects related to taking this drug which can contribute to adverse mental health effects including hallucinations and psychotic episodes.
Additionally, ‘Nuvigil’ is not meant to be prescribed for more than one year.
Unfortunately, the VA had been prescribing ‘Nuvigil’ to Bloch for more than four and a half (4.5) years, and not surprisingly, as a result, Bloch had a psychotic episode.
On February 15, 2022, Bloch was on his way to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, for a business meeting on behalf of a company he founded when he suffered a mental breakdown.
It was brought on by a combination of high-stress, lack of sleep, and ‘Nuvigil.’
As he drove into town, Bloch became disoriented. He has no personal memories of what happened next. He can only recount what happened based upon what he has heard from others, accounts he has read by eyewitnesses, and that which he has seen on video from security/surveillance cameras.
From what has been reported, after Bloch met a friend and former teammate who was going to drive Bloch on base for his business meeting, Bloch’s mental condition rapidly deteriorated.
Bloch began to rant angrily before storming off in the same vehicle in which he had just arrived.
When Bloch reached the outskirts of town, he pulled off to the side of the road in a rural parking lot, began shouting and acting erratically, and then pulled out his personal pistol and began firing it.
Although no one was harmed, he did hit two occupied vehicles, the side of a mobile home, and finally his own vehicle.
Mentally and physically, his actions were inconsistent with the countless hours of muscle-memory training and real-world weapons experience he had as a Marine Corps Raider/Critical Skills Operator (CSO).
He then departed for home in his vehicle until the vehicle suddenly stopped running.
Bloch was able to make contact with a friend who picked him up and stayed with him until Bloch’s wife could arrive.
When Bloch’s wife arrived, neither she nor Bloch’s friend were aware of Bloch’s actions earlier in the day with his pistol nor that Bloch had committed a crime, although they did realize that Bloch needed VA treatment immediately for his mental breakdown.
Shortly thereafter, Bloch was contacted by law enforcement.
They requested that Bloch travel back to North Carolina to speak with them.
Bloch was amenable and requested the meeting be scheduled for the following Monday. The detective said that would be fine.
However, instead of honoring the pre-scheduled meeting, the police issued a warrant for Bloch’s arrest…as a felon fugitive.
Bloch was arrested and spent several weeks in a Virginia jail before he was extradited to North Carolina where his family was able to raise enough money to post his $15,000 bail.
Of note, during Bloch’s shooting incident, he did not injure anyone, and those whose property was damaged and who the prosecutor has identified as “victims,” have submitted written statements specifically requesting Bloch NOT to be prosecuted.
Despite all that, Bloch has been charged with two felonies for discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle, a misdemeanor for discharging a firearm in proximity to a structure in city limits, and a misdemeanor for property damage in excess of $200.
To date, Bloch’s family has paid thousands of dollars out of their own pockets for bail and legal defense, which will elevate into tens of thousands if not more should Bloch’s case go to trial.
Due to the fact that Bloch self-reported this incident to the Department of Defense, his security clearance has been revoked pending adjudication of his case. As such, Bloch is presently unemployed and is unable to find meaningful work commensurate with his training, education, and experience.
Most disturbingly, North Carolina’s State District Attorney intends to prosecute Bloch in a criminal proceeding as opposed to allowing Bloch access to the state’s Veterans Treatment Court, which has stated its readiness and willingness to provide Bloch with their full cadre of services.
Veterans Treatment Courts effectively support state efforts to integrate evidence-based substance use disorder treatment, mandatory drug testing, incentives, sanctions, and recovery support services in judicially supervised court settings which have jurisdiction over veterans involved in the justice system who have substance use disorders, including a history of violence and post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of their military service.
On May 11, 2023, UAP’s Board of Directors accepted Bloch’s request for support with the intent to ensure Bloch gains access to the Veterans Treatment Court and that he has the ability to fund his legal defense in a criminal court.
WHO IS MICHAEL?
Staff Sergeant Michael Bloch is married to his wonderful wife, and they have three beautiful young daughters.
Michael is the CEO and Founder of EBS and VETWERX, is an Intelligence and Special Operations Professional with 19 years of relevant experience. He formed EBS to address a growing need for agile and innovative solutions to support the Special Operations and Intelligence Communities.
Michael’s professional experience includes 12 years of Active-Duty service in the United States Marine Corps, 6 of which were at Marine Corps Special Operations Command (MARSOC) as a Critical Skills Operator.
As a Marine, Michael deployed to Iraq three times from 2003-2006, to Jordan in 2010, Africa in 2011, and Afghanistan from 2012-2013. Michael continued his service as a Contractor with various JSOC elements and units as a Targeting Analyst, Targeting Officer, Technical Intelligence Targeter, Cyber Mission Manager, and Cyber Operations Subject Matter Expert.
As a Contractor, Michael deployed to Iraq two times from 2016-2018, to Jordan in 2019, and Afghanistan in 2019.
Professional Experience Highlights:
- Managed JSOC partnered Cyber portfolios as Mission Manager deployed to CENTCOM AO.
- Developed technical targeting vectors for Task Force as Tailored Access Targeter deployed to CENTCOM AO.
- Provided Targeting Intelligence for over 30 successful Task Force Operations under Defeat-ISIS Campaign as Targeting Officer deployed to CENTCOM AO.
- Participated in planning of innovative approaches to cloud architecture to meet technical demands of customer requirements. Identified technologies to automate and expedite processes and operations.
- Led a Team of Multi-Discipline Intelligence Professionals, Technologists, and Developers directly supporting SOF CT efforts through Big Data Analytics and Rapid Tool Development.
- Led an Element of MARSOC Raiders in execution of SOF Tasks and Deployments to Africa and Afghanistan as a Raider Element Leader and Intelligence Specialist.
- Led combat patrols and managed a Marine Infantry Squad during 3 combat deployments to Iraq.
Education and Certifications:
- Veteran Entrepreneur Scholars Program – William & Mary – Cohort 10, 2023
- MS in Cloud Computing Architecture – UMGC – December 2021
- BA in International Relations and Diplomacy – Cum Laude – New England College, 2019
- Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification
- VA DCJS Credentialed – Armed PPS, SO/Courier, and PI, Patrol Rifle, Compliance Agent
- AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate, and Certified Cloud Practitioner
- CompTIA Certifications – Linux+, Sec+, Net+, A+ / Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
- Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) & Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO)
- SOCOM Advanced Computer Network Operations, C30/CANO Course
- JSOC Advanced ISR Tactical Controller Course
- JIDO Improvised Threat Analysis Course
- MARSOC Advanced Special Operations Techniques, Level II
- JSOU Irregular Warfare Course
- Operator Advanced Course, SSE Level 2
- MARSOC Field Intelligence Course
Michael’s awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon (Iraq), Navy Unit Commendation (2), Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal (3), National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal (w/1 Star), Iraq Campaign Medal (w/4 Stars), Global War On Terrorism Expeditionary Medal (Iraq), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (4), NATO Medal-ISAF Afghanistan, Certificate of Commendation (individual award)(4), Letter of Appreciation (2), Expert Rifle Qualification Badge (2), Expert Pistol Qualification Badge (4), Basic Parachute Insignia, Navy/Marine Corps Parachutist Insignia.
You can make an impact by contacting District Attorney Ernie Lee to request the transfer of Staff Sergeant Bloch’s case to the Veterans Court.
Let’s ensure a trusted veteran receives the treatment he needs and deserves, rather than facing unnecessary prosecution.
DA Ernie Lee Fifth Prosecutorial District, North Carolina
Phone: (910) 478-3610
Email: [email protected]