Col. Jeanette McMahon to Speak on “Courage” to Business and Professional Women of SC

March 11, 2011 at 5:21 pm

Spartanburg, S.C. — Colonel Jeanette McMahon, USA (Retired) who appeared on “Sixty Minutes” last year to tell the story of her husband’s 2004 death in the “Blackwater 61”  noncombat incident in Afghanistan, will speak on “Courage” at the University of South Carolina Upstate on Saturday, March 26, at 11 a.m. The public is invited to attend the free event which will be held in the ballroom in the Campus Life Center. McMahon’s appearance is sponsored by the Business and Professional Women of South Carolina and USC Upstate.

McMahon is one of three Army widows who sued Blackwater’s aviation subsidiary for safety violations and disregard for human life arising from the plane crash on a remote Afghan mountain that killed her husband, then the highest ranking soldier to be killed in the war.

McMahon is a 1983 U.S. Military Academy graduate, a helicopter pilot and former commanding general’s speechwriter in the United States Army Pacific. She has had a distinguished career in the Army after graduating from West Point in one of the first classes that included women. She graduated from the Army flight school and served in several positions in the Aviation element in the 101st Airborne Division, one of the Army’s elite divisions.  She continued to serve in elite positions in the 12th Aviation Brigade in Germany and the 17th Aviation Brigade in Korea. 

McMahon has received several awards during her career for her dedicated service.  She earned the Parachutist’s Badge, the Air Assault Badge, and the Senior Army Aviation Badge.  She has successfully completed her military education over the years and has been selected to attend the U.S. Army War College which is the Army’s most elite school for career officers.

In addition to completing her military education, McMahon also received a Master of Science degree from Kansas State University which led to her appointment to several positions in Operations Research Systems Analysis. 

McMahon now serves as Special Assistant to the Superintendent for Human Relations at the U.S. Military Academy where she lives with her three children, Michael, Thomas and Ricky. 

McMahon’s appearance is sponsored by the Business and Professional Women of South Carolina and USC Upstate as BPW/SC celebrates their 91st year of “seeking to achieve equity for all women in the workplace through advocacy, education and information.”

Groups planning to attend this event should contact Linda Bilanchone,, in order to assure sufficient seating.