Amy McGrath graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and was commissioned as a Marine Corps ofﬁcer in 1997 and served 20 years in the Marines. First, she became a F/A-18 weapons systems ofﬁcer (backseater), completed two combat deployments, and ﬂew 89 combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2002, as a weapons systems ofﬁcer, Amy became the ﬁrst woman in the Marine Corps to ﬂy a combat mission in an F/A-18. In 2004, she transitioned to become an F/A-18 pilot and completed a second operational tour deploying to Japan and operating in the Paciﬁc. She completed her third combat deployment in Helmand Province Afghanistan in 2010.
After her operational ﬂying tours, Amy served as a Congressional Fellow advising a senior member of the U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee on defense and foreign policy. Subsequently, she served in the Pentagon as Marine Corps’ liaison to the State Department and other federal agencies. She earned a master’s degree in global security from Johns Hopkins University, and she is a graduate of the Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction’s Program for Emerging Leaders at the National Defense University. Her ﬁnal assignment was as a senior instructor in the Political Science Department at the US Naval Academy teaching U.S. government and national security courses before retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and moving back home to Kentucky to raise her family. There, she ran races for the U.S. House and Senate.
More recently she started Honor Bound, Inc. a 501(c)(4) nonpartisan organization committed to leadership development for women with a service background and encouraging those women to run for elected ofﬁce. She has a book titled Honor Bound: An American Story of Dreams and Service coming out later this summer published by Knopf. It's a memoir on her time in the military, what propelled her to run for ofﬁce and the hard lessons in leadership, sacriﬁce, and patriotism she’s learned along the way.