Born In: Warwick, Rhode Island, United States
Martha Elizabeth McSally is a former military pilot turned politician who served as a United States senator for Arizona. She held the office from 2019 to 2020. Prior to becoming a senator, she was the United States representative for Arizona's 2nd congressional district. Born to a middle-class family in Rhode Island, she had a difficult childhood as her father died when she was very young. Her mother struggled to raise Martha and her siblings by herself. Martha was a good student and was the valedictorian at her school. She later joined the United States Air Force Academy and graduated with a degree in biology. She furthered her studies at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government before joining pilot training. She worked as a military pilot for several years and became the first United States woman to fly in combat before retiring and returning to civilian life. She then ventured into politics and was elected to the House of Representatives in 2014. She was endorsed by then-President Donald Trump in her 2018 Senate campaign. Long-time US senator John McCain died in 2018, and McSally succeeded him as the senator, taking office in early 2019. Her tenure ended in 2020.
Also Known As: Martha Elizabeth McSally
Spouse/Ex-: Donald F. Henry (m. 1997–1999)
Born Country: United States
Notable Alumni: United States Air Force Academy
U.S. State: Rhode Island
education: Harvard University, United States Air Force Academy
Martha McSally was born on March 22, 1966, in Warwick, Rhode Island, United States, to Bernard and Eleanor. She has four older siblings. Her father, a lawyer, suffered a massive heart attack and died when Martha was just 12. Her mother worked as a reading specialist and raised the five children by herself.
Martha was a good student who excelled in her studies. She was the valedictorian at her school, St. Mary Academy, Bay View, in 1984. She then joined the United States Air Force Academy, from where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology.
She enrolled at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and received her master’s degree in public policy. During this time, she decided to become a pilot and proceeded to pilot training.
In 1991, she completed her Undergraduate Pilot Training at Williams Air Force Base and earned her USAF pilot's wings.
Martha McSally was assigned to Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, after her graduation in 1991. She was a First Assignment Instructor Pilot and was promoted to Lead-in Fighter Training in 1993.
At Davis–Monthan Air Force Base, she completed Replacement Training Unit for the A-10 Thunderbolt II. In 1995, she was assigned to an operational A-10 squadron in Kuwait. She flew combat patrol over Iraq as part of Operation Southern Watch, thus becoming the first woman fighter pilot from US to command a fighter squadron.
She was deployed to Europe in 1999. Sent in support of Operation Allied Force, she was chosen for the Legislative Fellowship Program. She worked as a national security advisor to Senator Jon Kyl.
In 2004, she was made in charge of the 354th Fighter Squadron at Davis–Monthan Air Force Base. She was later deployed to Afghanistan under Operation Enduring Freedom. She retired from the United States Air Force in 2010.
Martha McSally ran for a seat in the House of Representatives from Arizona’s 8th congressional district in 2012. Her bid was unsuccessful. She ran for the elections again in 2014 and was elected this time, becoming the first female Republican representative from Arizona. She was re-elected in 2016.
She announced her candidacy for the US Senate seat in 2018, shortly after the retirement of US Senator Jeff Flake. On August 25, 2018, long-time US senator John McCain died and his appointed successor, Senator Jon Kyl, resigned.
Martha McSally was sworn in as a United States senator on January 3, 2019. Her appointment was considered controversial, and John McCain's daughter Meghan criticized her saying that McSally “didn’t earn” this appointment.
As a senator, she voted for the Strengthening America's Security in the Middle East Act of 2019. She also voted to confirm William Barr as attorney general and Andrew Wheeler as EPA administrator.
An ardent supporter of President Donald Trump, she voted to acquit him of articles of impeachment on charges of obstruction of Congress and abuse of power. She praised Trump for the way he responded to the Covid-19 pandemic crisis.
How To Cite
People Also Viewed