Scott O’Grady of Dallas is a self-employed motivational speaker. He is a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He served as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force and was commissioned through the US Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps program. O’Grady received a bachelor’s degree from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and a master’s degree from Dallas Theological Seminary.
Shot down in war-torn Bosnia, Scott O’Grady shares the six-day, life-or-death ordeal that made headlines, inspired millions and taught us about preparation, teamwork and leadership.An Air Force fighter pilot, Captain Scott O’Grady was shot down over Bosnia while helping to enforce the NATO no-fly zone in an F-16. Alone -- facing death, capture and the elements -- he discovered within himself the spirit to go on and relied on the skills learned during a lifetime of preparing for the unthinkable. From O’Grady’s compelling life-and-death story, audiences learn how to adapt, change and succeed even under the most daunting and trying of circumstances. Even while isolated behind enemy lines, Captain O’Grady remained a member of a carefully drilled team. He details the preparation, teamwork and leadership responsible for his survival and for his dramatic rescue by the U.S. Marines — qualities that are crucial to success in every facet of business and life. The ingenuity and fortitude that kept him alive in hostile territory for six days now inspires audiences to their own groundbreaking achievements.
The way he was shot down, and his inability to communicate with aircraft searching for him, have revealed many shortcomings, and the US Air Force will have to take a hard look at its pilots' training. ...Capt O'Grady's first mistake was a matter of discipline - he took off dressed only in a flying suit and a T-shirt , not properly clad to eject and survive in a hostile environment.The Bosnian Serbs apparently locked radar on to his F-16 fighter several times, but he continued circling when he should have known he had been picked up. Eventually, the Serbs launched an SA-6 missile ,guiding it towards his plane visually. A quick transmission from the radar was then enough to guide the missile to the plane in its final moments, blowing it in two.Capt O'Grady did not, apparently, know how to use his survival radio or the Global positioning system. Eventually, he seems to have worked out how to use the aids by trial and error: had he been well versed in the drills, he could have been picked up days earlier, sources said. He also headed towards a reference point quite needlessly, showing a misunderstanding of basic procedures.