A retired Fort Polk Fire Chief Emeritus was recently inducted into the Military Firefighter Heritage Foundation Hall of Fame.
Michael L. Kuk was inducted on April 28 as the U.S. Army’s awardee for 2018. The event took place at the Department of Defense Military Fire Academy, located at Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, Tx.
Kuk has been a lifelong firefighter, serving as a military, industrial, civilian, and volunteer fire chief at several departments, and is a decorated U. S. Army Vietnam Veteran.
In particular, he served as the Long Binh military fire station chief supervising twenty soldier-firefighters, during his time in Vietnam from 1970-1971.
Long Binh was the military’s largest constructed and operated base of support and command operations for a theater of war.
He was recognized at the awards ceremony for his continued work in the American fire service, still serving as an active volunteer firefighter, chaplain, master musician, historian, and author.
Kuk is a credentialed and certified chief fire officer, and holds dual fellowships in the Institution of Fire Engineers of Great Britain and Homeland Security.
This is the third time that he has been inducted into a Hall of Fame.
Kuk was inducted into the 50-60’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2006 with his band of the 1960’s the “Union Jacks”, and then as the first inductee into the U.S. Army Fire Chiefs Hall of Fame in 2009.
Kuk continues to serve in many capacities for both the American and International fire services. He travels abroad with numerous fire service delegations to share knowledge and experience with his foreign counterparts, and is a guest speaker at multiple fire service events.
He has been a published fire service author since 1972, and has written many landmark articles and booklets about rare firefighting history and incidents that shaped the direction of how firefighters undertake their careers, training, and historical accounts.
Currently, he is writing a memoir about his time in Vietnam as an Army firefighter.
As a professional union musician, he performs as a keyboardist and vocalist at many firefighter, military and civil ceremonies throughout the year.
Kuk’s award was co-presented by Chief G. Keith Bryant, the U.S. Fire Administrator and the Chairman of the Military Firefighter Heritage Foundation, Michael D. Robertson.