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Counterintelligence leader to speak at FLCC Veterans Day ceremony, Armed Forces Dinner

Michael Orlando, acting head at the National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) and former deputy assistant director in the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, will be the keynote speaker at two Finger Lakes Community College Veterans Day events.

Orlando will give remarks first at the Veterans Day Ceremony on Friday, Nov. 11, at 3 p.m. in the main campus auditorium. FLCC President Robert Nye and Student Veterans Organization President Zachary Shirley will also speak. The event is free and open to the public.

The Veterans Day Ceremony will be broadcast live on Finger Lakes TV, which can be viewed on Spectrum cable channel 1304, Roku and online at It will also be shown on college YouTube and Facebook accounts.

In addition to the Veterans Day Ceremony, Orlando will deliver the keynote address a few hours later at the FLCC Armed Forces Dinner, a formal dress event sponsored by the Student Veterans Organization and open to the public. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with dinner, live music by FLCC alumnus Craig Snyder ’84, and remarks at 6 p.m. The event closes with DJ Richard Muolo and dancing. The cost is $40 for the general public and $25 for veterans and first responders, including police, firefighters, and emergency medical service workers. FLCC students and one guest may attend for free.

Ontario County Historian Preston Pierce, a retired Army major, will serve as emcee for the dinner, and President Nye, a retired Army colonel, will give opening remarks. Reservations are required by Nov. 7 with the FLCC Student Life Office at (585) 785-1264. Free childcare is available for ages 2 to 12 for those who reserve a space by Nov. 4. Questions can be directed to the Student Veterans Organization advisor and adjunct instructor Heman Sweet at [email protected].

“I had the pleasure of teaching Mr. Orlando when he was a student at Cornell Army ROTC, and later serving with him in the 101st Airborne Division,” Nye said. “It was clear from my first meetings with Mr. Orlando that he was destined for great things as he demonstrated the highest levels of integrity, dedication, selfless service and reflection.”

Orlando, a SUNY Cortland graduate who received his commission from the nearby Cornell University’s Army ROTC program, served five years in the Army as an artillery officer in the 101st Airborne Division and 75th Ranger Regiment. He also served as an intelligence officer in the Army Reserves for two years, followed by work for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Orlando joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as a special agent in 2003. His field assignments included multiple deployments to the People’s Republic of China. In 2009, he coordinated counterintelligence operations in the Western Pacific and East Asia, and in 2011 he oversaw the successful espionage investigation and conviction of a Defense Department contractor for passing national defense secrets to China.

Six years later, Orlando was assistant special agent in charge of the Washington Field Office’s Counterintelligence Division, where he oversaw the successful disruption of Russian clandestine foreign agent Maria Butina. Orlando joined the NCSC in November 2020 as the deputy director and is currently the senior official performing the duties of the director.

The FLCC Student Veterans Organization raises awareness of veterans’ issues on campus and in the local community on behalf of the College’s student veterans and their family members. The organization assists veterans in the transition from military to college life by creating a social and professional support network, educating veterans on their benefits, and providing a welcoming atmosphere. About 56 FLCC students have identified themselves as veterans and another 11 receive veteran family benefits.