Sergeant Major Alford L. McMichael was born in Hot Springs, AR. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on 27 August 1970, and attended recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, CA.
In June 1971, after completing Infantry Training School and Basic Infantry Training at Camp Pendleton, CA. Sergeant Major McMichael was assigned to Marine Barracks, Pearl Harbor, HI. where he served as a Security Guard and Guard Chief. Before transferring in May 1973, he graduated from Noncommissioned Officers School and reported to 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, CA. where he served as a Platoon Sergeant and Company Gunnery Sergeant.
In January 1978, Sergeant Major McMichael transferred to the 3rd Marine Division where he served as a shore party chief with the 3rd Division Support Group.
In January 1979, Sergeant Major McMichael received orders to Marine Security Guard School and, upon completion of the school, was assigned to the American Embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark. In May 1981, he returned to Quantico, VA. to serve as an instructor for the Marine Security Guard School.
In May 1983, Sergeant Major McMichael was assigned to the University of Minnesota where he served as the Assistant Marine Officer Instructor for the NROTC Program.
In December 1984, after completing the Staff Noncommissioned Officers Academy Advanced Course, Sergeant Major McMichael was transferred to Okinawa, Japan to serve as the First Sergeant of Company C, 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion. In January 1986, he was ordered to Marine Barracks, Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, to serve as the barracks' First Sergeant.
Sergeant Major McMichael served as the director of the Staff Non-commissioned Officers Academy, Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, California from May 1988 to May 1991 where he was selected to the rank of Sergeant Major.
In May 1991, Sergeant Major McMichael was transferred to Quantico, Virginia where he served as the sergeant major of Officer Candidates School.
In June 1994, Sergeant Major McMichael returned to Okinawa, Japan where he served as the sergeant major of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit until July 1995 when he was reassigned as the sergeant major of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing.
From January 1997 to June 1999, Sergeant Major McMichael served as the sergeant major for Manpower and Reserve Affairs Division, headquarters, U. S. Marine Corps.
From July 1999 to July 2003, Sergeant Major McMichael served as the 14th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, U.S. Pentagon, Washington D.C.
Sergeant Major McMichael assumed his current post as the 1st senior non-commissioned officer for Allied Command Operations September 24, 2003.
Sergeant Major McMichael's personal decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with gold star, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with gold star, and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with gold star.