Captain Scott F. O'Grady was born in Brooklyn, New York. He attended the University of Washington for one year before transferring to Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. O'Grady earned a Bachelor of Science degree (Aeronautical) and was commissioned through the Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps program in 1989.
Following college, O'Grady attended the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. He was then assigned to F-16 pilot training at Luke Air Force Base until December 1991, when he began his first operational assignment flying the F-16 at the 80th Fighter Squadron, Kunsan Air Base, Korea. Later assignments took him to Ramstein, Germany; Aviano, Italy; Hill Air Force Base, Utah; and Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. After 12 years of military service, O’Grady entered inactive reserve status in February 2001. Shortly after, he enrolled at Dallas Theological Seminary and graduated with a Master’s Degree in the spring of 2007. O’Grady was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate in public service by the University of Portland in Oregon.
O’Grady was helping enforce a United Nations no-fly zone policy in the skies over Bosnia when a Soviet-made anti-aircraft missile slammed into his F-16. O’Grady tells his incredible story of how he survived in hostile territory for six days before being rescued by the U.S. Marines in his book, Return with Honor, which spent six weeks on The New York Times best seller list. He has also published Basher Five-Two, a children’s edition of his original story. His courageous story has also been documented on the Discovery Channel presentation, Behind Enemy Lines. In addition, O'Grady has been featured on CNN’s Voices of the Millennium, a Then and Now series that focused on the most influential personalities of the 20th century.
O'Grady has accumulated more than 1,300 military flying hours, including over 1,000 in the F-16. As a highly decorated veteran, he has served on the boards of multiple non-profit organizations dedicated to helping others.
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