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Scott O'Grady

American Hero; Best-Selling Author

Travels From:
Texas
Fee Range:
$15, 000 - $25,000

Scott O’Grady is a former United States Air Force Captain and Air Force fighter pilot who gained prominence after the June 2, 1995 Mrkonjic Grad incident, in which he ejected over Bosnia when his F-16C was shot down by a Bosnian Serb SA-6 while he was patrolling the no-fly zone. He survived for almost six days by eating leaves, grass, and ants and avoiding Serb patrols while trying to contact Magic, NATO’s airborne command center. He evaded capture and was rescued on June 8 by U.S. Marines.

Scott served twelve years in the Air Force both active and reserve duty and continued to fly the F-16 three years after his rescue.

O’Grady tells his incredible story of survival in his book, Return With Honor. In May 2007, he completed a master’s degree in biblical studies at Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas. He resides in Texas.

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Bio

Captain Scott F. O'Grady was born in Brooklyn, New York on October 12, 1965. He moved with his family to Long Beach, California in 1970, then to Ridgewood, New Jersey in 1972 and finally to Spokane, Washington, in 1974. He graduated from Lewis and Clark High School in 1984 and attended the University of Washington for one year before transferring to Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott Arizona. O'Grady earned a Bachelor of Aeronautical Science and was commissioned through the Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps program, April 1989.

Following college, O'Grady attended the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, from November 1989 to December 1990. 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. In April 1993, O'Grady was reassigned to the 526th Fighter Squadron in Ramstein, Germany, until assuming a position in May 1994 with the 555th Fighter Squadron in Aviano, Italy. In October 1995, he was assigned as an F-16 pilot with the 466th Fighter Squadron at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. In July 1998, he was assigned to a joint survival agency at Fairchild Air Force Base. After 12 years of military service, O'Grady entered inactive reserve status in 2001 and resides in North Texas. He graduated with a Masters Degree from Dallas Theological Seminary in the spring of 2007 and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in public service by the University of Portland.

O'Grady was helping enforce the NATO 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 focus 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.

Speech Topics

Scott O’Grady speaks about his incredible true-life struggle to survive in the hostile territory of war-torn Bosnia. Scott O’Grady’s story is an inspirational tale of courage, faith and patriotism by an American hero.


Since his return from a six-day, life-and-death ordeal after his F-16 was shot down over Bosnia, Scott O’Grady has helped countless individuals and organizations learn how to adapt, change, and succeed even in the most challenging of circumstances. He has demonstrated how Fortune 500 companies can employ the lessons that helped him survive to build resilient teams, take decisive action, and demonstrate strong leadership. Audiences walk away from O’Grady’s riveting presentations with the knowledge they need to overcome obstacles and succeed, both personally and professionally.


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