Jul 4, 2018
Amy McGrath is
on a mission to bring back servant leadership, civic responsibility
and open discourse to Capitol Hill. As both a graduate and former
teacher at the United States Naval Academy, Amy has committed
herself to serve the country as an ethical, truthful and tactical
leader. She was the first female Marine to fly in an F-18 Hornet on
a combat mission.
Now running for Congress in
Kentucky, Amy speaks with Jim and Jan about the standards she would
like to bring back to Congress, why facts and the truth matter,
what motivates her as a leader, and how she plans to bring her
military experience into the political realm to unify.
[1:43] Amy attended the Naval
Academy, and later became a Congressional Fellow, serving as
Defense and Foreign Affairs Policy Advisor, and then a liason to
the State Dept.
[3:10] Amy explains why her call
sign is Krusty the Klown. In the Marine Corps, callsigns are not
supposed to be flattering, and her hair would stick out the sides
of her cover.
[4:21] Right now, Amy is focused
on her three small children and running for Congress, but does plan
on flying again.
[6:02] Amy feels that we have
leaders in both parties who have told people what they want to
hear, who they should point the finger at, and suggest that there
is a quick fix. That was one of Amy's main interests in
running her campaign, to make sure she was honest and courageous at
every step along the way, even if the issues were complex, and her
platform suggested that we have to work hard and together to solve
[8:36] One of the things Amy
respects about recent guest General Stanley McChrystal is his idea
of national service and the government helping with community to
unify our country and to help with inequality.
[10:42] A recent speech by a
politician brings up the topic of the polarizing speech vs. the new
wave of greater discourse, and constituents having the ability to
talk directly with their leaders to share their current concerns
and desires for change. When Amy sits with people in her
Georgetown community, she finds that despite all the differences in
political beliefs and affiliations, they have a common thread of
concern of our country and the hope we can trust a leader is truly
listening, and not just spreading propaganda for the sake of what
people want to hear.
[13:53] Amy serves the country
first before any political representation. She calls running for
Congress her 90th mission, because she flew 89 missions, both for
Iraq and Afghanistan.
[15:40] Amy has a “Leaders Eat
Last” mentality, and feels though it is time for those in power to
look out for the well being of the people before
[16:45] So many people in
America are just getting by, are just struggling to make ends meet
while working 2-3 jobs. The best way Amy can lead by example is to
hold herself to high standards, and then provide avenues for others
to follow suit.
[19:00] In the military, you
serve the American people and the federal government. Opportunities
are not handed to you.
[19:46] While working with a
representative, Amy noticed that although the Representative
herself was a true public servant, the institution set in place
called for band aid fixes and reactionary responses.
[20:23] True leaders don’t solve
problems for the sake of credit or symbolic gestures. They look at
the plan from afar, study it, and strategize while considering all
angles, no matter how complex the issue. Once in motion, it’s
important to be flexible and continue studying the plan to see if
there may be ways to adapt even better.
[25:04] Before we make any
decision or plans, we must know the truth, and the actual
[27:31] Amy’s assignment to her
class while teaching at the Naval Academy exposed that many members
of Congress and Senators had propaganda and non truths on their
website. The students at the Naval Academy make up some of the best
minds in the world, so there is a concern on how politics has
replaced truth and facts for popularity.
[36:45] It takes a group to make
a difference and turn the tide against corruption. This starts with
[39:57] Amy’s husband is a
Republican, and she appreciates that representing the idealist
America where both sides can have an intelligent discourse with
[42:38] Good leaders come from
all walks of life.
[43:55] The first order of
business Amy would tackle in her term would be health care and
assembling a group of people that are taking action to make a
- Let’s replace symbolic gestures with actually doing
- In every mission we didn’t just fly. We studied, we prepared,
we had a plan.
- I’m an idealist, and that’s what makes me American.
have to have leaders that have the courage to be honest with
- People are ready for honesty.
- People are looking for people who don’t always
have talking points, but want to listen.
country badly needs better leaders.
- Leaders must be servants first.
- Actions are more important than
- Leaders eat last and take
military is about performance and working for the American
need people to work hard, but have to provide avenues for
leaders are made up of substance.
- “It’s not the plan that matters in battle, it’s
the planning.” - Dwight
- If it
wasn’t for Progressives, I wouldn’t have had a job in the Marine
must surround yourself with good people. If there is enough of us,
we can make a difference.
TLP101: General Stanley
Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek
Representative Susan Davis
US Naval Academy
The Lowest Form Of
United States Marine Corps
Website: Lt Colonel Amy McGrath
When Amy McGrath was
12 years old, she fell 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. Amy
began writing letters to members of Congress advocating for
change to remove the restriction on women and wrote every
member of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees.
During her senior year of high school, the combat exclusion
law was lifted. Amy attended the United States Naval Academy
and graduated in 1997 with a B.S. in Political
She was commissioned
as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps,
where she went on to complete flight school first as a
Weapons Systems Officer, and later as a pilot in the F/A-18
Hornet. She completed a tour flying missions in Afghanistan
in 2002, becoming the first female Marine to fly in an
F-18 on a combat mission, and a second combat tour flying
in Iraq in 2003. In 2009, Amy married U.S. Navy Lieutenant
Commander Erik Henderson and both were later deployed to
Afghanistan. They now have three children. In 2011, Amy was
assigned to Washington D.C. as a Marine Corps Congressional
Fellow, serving as defense and foreign affairs policy advisor
to Rep. Susan
Davis of San Diego.
She then served in the Pentagon as the Marine
Corps’ liaison to the State Department. Having reached
the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, Amy’s last assignment was
teaching at the U.S. Naval Academy. Amy retired from
the Marine Corps on June 1, 2017 after 20 years.