The husband of S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley will head to a year-long military deployment in Afghanistan on Jan. 10, the S.C. National Guard said Wednesday.
Michael Haley, recently promoted to captain, will join about 50 members of the 3-49th Agribusiness Development Team who will advise the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, Guard spokeswoman Maj. Cindi King said.
The unit will spend a month training at Camp Atterbury, Ind., before heading overseas, she said.
Haley, 42, is thought to be the first spouse of a sitting governor to go to a combat zone with the Guard, the National Guard Association has said.
Haley works full time with the S.C. National Guard as a federal military technician. The six-year Guard veteran was tapped for the assignment because of his business background, Guard officials said.
Haley ran a bartering business, and helped launch and manage the men’s department of Exotica International, a clothing store owned by his in-laws. He has a business administration degree from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.
Gov. Haley’s brother served in the first Persian Gulf war as an Army major.
“The Haleys are a proud military family that understands the sacrifices any family goes through when a loved one is serving his or her country,” said Rob Godfrey, the governor’s spokesman. “Michael is looking forward to his mission, but he will miss his family. The governor and the Haley children are proud of Michael and will pray for his – and all others’ – safe return.”