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U.S. Senate – Kentucky

Amy McGrath for Senate

Amy McGrath for Senate
By age 13, Amy had fallen in love with military fighter jets. Wondering why there were no women flying, Amy discovered there was a federal law in the U.S. prohibiting women from serving in combat roles. Soon, Amy began writing to members of Congress and published letters to the editor in her hometown newspapers advocating for change to remove the restriction on women.
During her senior year at Notre Dame Academy in Park Hills, the combat exclusion law was lifted, and she was accepted into the United States Naval Academy as part of the Class of 1997.  
Shortly after 9/11, then McGrath, call sign “Krusty”, deployed to Kyrgyzstan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) where she flew combat missions in Afghanistan. In 2003, she completed her second combat tour with Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 121 "Green Knights" to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). That same year, she was certified as an Air Combat Tactics Instructor.
From 2005-06, Amy transitioned to become an F/A-18 pilot. In her second tour with Green Knights, she completed a deployment to East Asia.  In 2009, Amy married U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Erik Henderson of Hagerstown, Maryland and shortly thereafter, they were both deployed to Afghanistan (Erik to Kabul and Amy to Helmand Province with 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing). While operational, she flew approximately 2,000 flight hours (350 combat flight hours), and flew 89 combat missions in both Afghanistan and Iraq, bombing Al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters. She has also flown in multiple exercises in the continental U.S., Alaska, Egypt, Australia, Korea and Japan.
In 2011, Amy was assigned to Washington D.C. as Marine Corps Congressional Fellow, serving as defense and foreign affairs policy advisor to Rep. Susan Davis of San Diego. Following her time on Capitol Hill, she served in the Pentagon as the Marine Corps’ liaison to other federal government agencies such as the Department of State and USAID.
In 2014, having reached the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, she was assigned to the faculty at US Naval Academy where she served as a senior political science instructor until her 20-year retirement from the Marines Corps on June 1, 2017.