Major Charles R. Michalk was born in Corpus Christi, Texas and enlisted in the Texas Army National Guard in 1998. He completed basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky, attended helicopter mechanic school in Fort Eustis, Virginia and was subsequently assigned to Troop D 1st/124th Cavalry in Austin, Texas. In September 2001, Major Michalk was activated to guard the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in response to the terrorist attacks. Following his activation, Major Michalk re-enrolled in college and continued his enlistment with the National Guard until 2004.
In 2005, Major Michalk graduated from Texas State University-San Marcos and accepted a commission in the Marine Corps. In late 2006, after completing the Basic School and Infantry Officers Course, Major Michalk reported to the 1st Battalion 3d Marine Regiment in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. During this assignment, Major Michalk completed two deployments in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM. He served as a line platoon commander in Haditha, Iraq in 2007 and as the 81mm mortar platoon commander in Karma, Iraq the following year. In 2009, Major Michalk completed the Expeditionary Warfare School Distance Education Program.
After serving as an infantry officer with 1st Battalion 3d Marines, Major Michalk applied to, and was accepted by the fiscal year 2009 Field Accession Board to lateral move into aviation—earning his "wings" in 2011. His first aviator tour was with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron (HMLA-169), out of Camp Pendleton, CA, where he completed a deployment in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM in 2013 as an AH-1W helicopter pilot. During this time, he served as a scheduling officer and assistant logistics officer for the squadron. Upon return from Afghanistan, Major Michalk transitioned to the upgraded AH-1Z and was attached to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM-161), where he deployed on the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit as the Current Operations Officer for the Aviation Combat Element in 2015.
In 2016, Major Michalk was selected by the Commandant's Professional Intermediate-Level Education Board to attend the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) for the Manpower Systems Analysis curriculum. In conjunction with his studies, Major Michalk completed the Command and Staff Distance Education Program through Marine Corps University, and in 2018 Major Michalk graduated from NPS with a Master of Science in Management.
Following graduation, Major Michalk reported to Headquarters Marine Corps Aviation where he served as the manpower analyst, fixed-wing and unmanned aerial systems occupational field sponsor, and aircrew programs coordinator within the Aviation Manpower and Support Branch (ASM).
In 2021, Major Michalk reported to Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Okinawa, Japan to serve as the Executive Officer for Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron and to fly the UC-12W in support of the Operational Support Airlift mission. His personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal Strike/Flight, Navy Commendation Medal, and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.