Who is Col. Martha McSalley? You should know about her.

Cosmo Boyd |

Martha McSally has had a notable career in both the military and politics.
Here's an overview of her life and achievements:

Early Life and Education

  • Born: March 22, 1966, in Warwick, Rhode Island.
  • Education: McSally earned a B.S. degree in Biology from the United
  • States Air Force Academy in 1988. She later received a master's
  • degree in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of
  • Government at Harvard University.

Military Career

  • Trailblazing Pilot: McSally made history in the U.S. Air Force as the first American woman to fly in combat and the first woman to command a fighter squadron in combat in United States history.
  • Combat Experience: She flew the A-10 Warthog over Iraq and Kuwait during Operation Southern Watch, enforcing the no-fly zone.
  • Lawsuit Against the Department of Defense: McSally sued the Department of Defense over its policy requiring U.S. servicewomen stationed in Saudi Arabia to wear the abaya, a traditional Muslim cloak, when traveling off base in the country. This lawsuit brought significant attention to gender issues within the military.

Political Career

  • U.S. House of Representatives: McSally was elected to the U.S. House in 2014, representing Arizona's 2nd congressional district. She served two terms, focusing on defense, border security, and veterans' issues.
  • U.S. Senate: In 2018, McSally ran for the U.S. Senate but was narrowly defeated. However, she was later appointed to fill the Senate seat vacated following the death of Senator John McCain. She served in the Senate until her defeat in the 2020 special election.

Key Issues and Political Stance

  • Military and Veterans: Given her background, she has been a strong advocate for military and veterans' issues.
  • Border Security: As a representative and senator from Arizona, a border state, she was vocal about border security issues.
  • Health Care: McSally supported efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act but also worked on legislation related to mental health and veterans' health care.

Personal Life

  • McSally has been open about her experiences with sexual assault, both in her memoir and in public statements, including a Senate Armed Services Subcommittee hearing. She discussed being raped by a superior officer while in the Air Force.


  • McSally's legacy is marked by her trailblazing role in the U.S. Air Force and her subsequent political career. Her efforts have had a significant impact on military policy, especially concerning women in the armed forces, and her political career has been characterized by a focus on defense and security issues. Martha McSally's life story reflects a blend of pioneering achievements in the military and a significant, albeit somewhat tumultuous, career in politics. Her contributions, especially in breaking barriers for women in the military, have been widely recognized.