Major Mike McDonald grew up in Hillsborough, NJ, and graduated from Rutgers University in 2007, where he commissioned as an Armor Second Lieutenant. He holds a Master’s degree in Business and Organizational Security Management from Webster University and a Master’s in International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
He served as a Tank Platoon Leader, Company Executive Officer, Battalion Scout Platoon Leader, and stood up the first sniper section for 1-72 Armor Regiment since the Korean War. MAJ McDonald graduated from the Psychological Operations Qualification Course in 2012 and served as a Detachment Commander in 5th Military Information Support Battalion (Airborne) and 9th Military Information Support Battalion (Airborne) deploying to Indonesia and Afghanistan. Following an assignment to the United States Military Academy and upon completion of the Command and General Staff College, MAJ McDonald served as the Commanding Officer of Alpha Company, 5th Psychological Operations Battalion (Airborne) and 5th Psychological Operations Battalion (Airborne)’s Executive Officer. He most recently deployed as a Psychological Operations planner with Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve to Kuwait and Iraq before being selected to the Secretary of Defense Strategic Thinkers Program at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
MAJ McDonald’s awards include the Parachutist Badge, the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge (Gold), the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (1OLC), Army Commendation Medal (1OLC), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal (1OLC), Joint Meritorious Unit Award (1OLC), Army Superior Unit Award, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal (1OLC), Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, the Korean Defense Service Medal, and the ISAF NATO Medal.