Sergeant Major Michael Kim Kianka graduated in 1993 from Hopewell Valley Regional High School in Hopewell, New Jersey. He entered the delayed entry program on June 10, 1993 and began recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, went to Marine Combat Training, MOS Training then was transferred to his first duty station in the fleet at Camp Hansen in Okinawa.
Private First Class Kianka began his career at Engineer Company, 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd FSSG. In June 1994 PFC Kianka was transferred to Airfield Operations, Marine Wing Support Squadron 172, Marine Wing Support Group 17, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. He was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal in July, 1994. LCpl Kianka played soccer for his squadron during his off time for the All Okinawa intramurals where he was the leading scorer for all teams. LCpl Kianka was selected to the All Marine Pacific Soccer team, first squad, traveling to Iwakuni, mainland Japan to participate in the All Marine Pacific Soccer tournament where his team won the Silver Medal. During the squadron Inspector General Inspection, LCpl Kianka received a ‘Noteworthy’ on the wall locker junk on the bunk portion of the inspection. LCpl Kianka was Marine of the Quarter for MWSS-172, and went on to be the Marine of the Quarter for Marine Wing Support Group 17. He was then selected for Marine of the Year for MWSS-172, and later for MWSG-17. LCpl Kianka was the runner-up for Marine of the Year for 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. He was promoted to the rank of Corporal in January 1995.
In February 1995, Corporal Kianka volunteered to go on the USS Belleau Woods, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit with HMM-262 as a squad leader. During his time with the 31st MEU, Cpl Kianka travelled to mainland Japan, Singapore and Thailand. In Thailand, Cpl Kianka participated in Operation Cobra Gold. Upon returning from the MEU, he continued to play on the squadron intramural softball, volleyball and soccer teams. He was selected for the second time to the All Marine Pacific Soccer team, first squad and played in the All Marine Pacific tournament where the Marines on the team again won the silver medal. Cpl Kianka went on to participate in Operation Freedom Banner in Pohang, South Korea. In 1996 Cpl Kianka then was transferred to Headquarters and Support Battalion, H&S Company, Camp Pendleton, C.A. where he was a section leader. In 1996 Cpl Kianka participated in the battalion softball, volleyball and soccer intramural teams and was selected to play in the All Marine Regional West Coast Soccer tournament. Cpl Kianka transferred to the Individual Ready Reserves in August 1997 in order to further his education at Mercer County Community College.
In 1999, Cpl Kianka joined Marine Wing Support Squadron 474, Willow Grove Naval Air Station Pennsylvania. In 2000 MWSS-474 deactivated and became MWSS-472. Cpl Kianka was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in April 2002. In May 2003 MWSS-472 was activated in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In 2004, MWSS was activated in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Sgt Kianka deployed and held the billet of platoon sergeant and SNCOIC for Airfield Security Operations, React Team Leader and Assistant Convoy Commander in al Qa’im, Iraq. Upon returning from Iraq, Sgt Kianka transferred to the IRR in order to complete his undergraduate degree at the College of New Jersey as a double major in History and Secondary Education.
In May 2006, Sergeant Kianka joined 3d Battalion 14th Marines and was mobilized in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Sgt Kianka was selected to be a member of the Police Transition Team Advisors and went to the Combat Advisors Course, Advisor Training Group, I MEF G-10, Camp Pendleton C.A. He was promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant in July 2006. SSgt Kianka deployed to al Qa’im Iraq as a Police Transition Team Advisor, Iraqi Police Liaison for NATO forces, Local National Police Liaison Officer, Intel Officer, Operations Officer, Convoy Commander, 3d Battalion 4th Marines local Police Liaison Officer, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, Al Anbar Province, Iraq. In November, SSgt Kianka was sent to be the representative of the PTT advisors to the Military Transition Team working with the Iraqi Army 3-3-5 Brigade. While working with the Iraqi Army, Police, and Multi Agencies, SSgt Kianka saw the need and helped the initial stand up of the Joint Reception Center in order to share resources and intelligence with 3d Battalion 4th Marines, Border Transition Teams, Military Transition Teams, Police Transition Team, ODA, OGA and HET in order to track Jihadist entering Iraq through Syria. In December 2006 SSgt Kianka volunteered to transfer to the Haditha PTT because of the combat losses to the advisors and security team. He assumed the roles of the SNCOIC of the Marines, 2d Battalion 3rd Marines PTT liaison, Multinational Force Police liaison, Operations Officer, Intel Officer, and Convoy Commander.
In April 2007 Staff Sergeant Kianka return from his combat tour to 3d Battalion 14th Marines and assumed the role of Motor Transportation SNCOIC. He was promoted to Gunnery Sergeant in December 2009. In December 2011 GySgt Kianka transferred to 6th Engineer Support Battalion, Bravo Company in Wilmington D.E. and assumed the role of Company Gunnery Sergeant. GySgt Kianka was selected for the rank of First Sergeant in April 2013.
In May 2013, First Sergeant Kianka was assigned as the Headquarters and Service Company First Sergeant for 6th Motor Transport Battalion that deactivated and became Combat Logistics Battalion 25 in Red Bank, N.J. In July 2016, First Sergeant Kianka assumed the billet as Battery First Sergeant, Golf Battery 3d Battalion 14th Marines, Fort Dix, N.J. and deployed with them to North Africa Morocco in support of African Lion working with the Tunisian Special Forces, Spanish Marines and Moroccan Special forces, where he received a gift by the Moroccan General for the success of the joint forces operations. First Sergeant Kianka was then transferred to Headquarters Battery and assumed the role as First Sergeant 3d Battalion 14th Marines in Bristol, PA.
In April 2018, First Sergeant Kianka was frocked and later promoted January 1, 2019 to Sergeant Major and transferred to his current billet as the Battalion Sergeant Major of 1st Battalion 25th Marines. SgtMaj Kianka took 1/25 to ITX in 29 Palms in 2018. SgtMaj Kianka is currently preparing 1st Battalion 25th Marines for the upcoming deployment.
Sergeant Major Kianka’s awards include the Navy Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal and the Combat Action Ribbon.