COL Budihas graduated from Jacksonville University, Florida and was commission as a Distinguished Military Graduate in the Infantry in 1994. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science; Master’s Degrees in Management & Leadership from Webster University; Master’s in Military Arts and Sciences from SAMS, and a Master’s in Strategic Studies from the School of Advanced Military Study (SAMS).
Prior to commissioning, COL Budihas enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1987 as a rifleman, serving as a squad leader in Desert Shield/Storm. In 1992, he was selected for an enlisted commissioning program.
COL Budihas’ past assignments include Rifle Platoon Leader, 81mm Mortar Platoon Leader, and TRAP Force Commander in 3d Battalion, 1st Marines (Special Operations Capable - Regiment) at Camp Pendleton, CA. From 1998-2000, served as a Staff Commander, Executive Officer, and Tactics Instructor at the Marine Corps’ Infantry Officer Course at Quantico, VA. After a short break in service working for General Electric as an operational manager, COL Budihas entered the Army in 2001. He served as a Battalion Assistant Operations Officer (S3) and Company Commander in 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry, then Assistant S3 in 2d BCT, 25th ID at Schofield Barracks, HI. From 2006-09, he served as the G-3 Chief of Current Operations, S3 for 1-64 Armor, and 2d BCT Executive Officer in the 3rd ID at Fort Stewart, GA. From 2009-10, he served as the Aide-de-Camp for the Combined Arms Center Commanding General. In 2011, COL Budihas served as the Deputy Chief of Staff at the Joint Multinational Training Command at Grafenwohr, Germany. Then from 2012-14, COL Budihas served as the Squadron Commander of 4th Squadron, 2d Cavalry Regiment in Vilseck, Germany. From 2014-15, he served as the Chief of Tactics for the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Georgia.
COL Budihas’ combat and operational deployments include: Operations Desert Shield/Storm; Joint Task Force-6 Counter-Narcotics Missions; Sea Soldier (Persian Gulf); Vigilant Sentinel and Southern Watch (Kuwait), Joint Forge (Bosnia), Iraqi Freedom II and V, and Enduring Freedom 13-14 (Afghanistan).
COL Budihas’ military schools and education include: Marine Corps Basic Training, OCS, Officer Basic School and Infantry Officer Course; the US Army Infantry Advance Course; CAS3; CGSC; SAMS; War College; Airborne, Air Assault, and Rappel Master’s Schools; Ranger School; SERE Course; Mountain Warfare and Cold Weather Survival School; and Anti-Terrorist Tactics Course.
His awards and decorations include: Bronze Star Medal w/ 2OLC, Meritorious Service Medal w/ 4OLC, Army Commendation Medal w/ 2OLCs, Army Achievement Medal, Navy/Marine Achievement Medal w/ gold star, Marine Corps Combat Action Ribbon, and many other unit and campaign medals. He has earned the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Expert Infantryman’s Badge, Ranger Tab, Parachutist Badge, and Air Assault Badge.
Most importantly, COL Budihas is married to Ameret McMaster of San Diego, California and they have three children: Mitchell a senior and Courtney a freshman both at the University of Kansas, and Kendall (15).