At a glance:As Director of Air Warfare at the Pentagon, Mike "Wizard" McCabe oversaw some of the deepest technology shifts and changes at the US Navy. He ensured thousands of military personnel would be ready for these transformations and managed the budgets that supported these key innovations and changes. Mike was in his office in the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 and survived the attack, retiring from the Navy shortly thereafter.
Mike McCabe oversaw some of the deepest technological shifts and changes at the U.S. Navy. He ensured thousands of military personnel would be ready for these transformations and managed the budgets that supported these key innovations and changes. Mike was largely responsible for the current generation of naval aviation technology, aircraft and aircraft carriers. His career was driven by one motivation: building exceptional teams while sustaining a culture of excellence in changing environments.
Mike is a highly decorated, experienced leader, former admiral and corporate CEO, who teaches others to lead and teams to reach their potential.
He draws inspiration from his father, a World War II Navy pilot and early jet pilot, who was killed deploying to the Korean War. Eighteen months after graduating college, Mike was flying combat missions under the mentorship of one of the original Top Gun Instructors. He became the Executive Officer of Top Gun himself, and the two combined again to consult for the movie “Top Gun”.
Mike commanded at every operational level of the Navy, including the Commander of the US 3rd Fleet. In these commands, he was able to achieve excellence, while suffering no operational loss of life. His combat decorations include the Silver Star and Distinguished Flying Cross. Mike also served as the Director of Air Warfare for the Navy with oversight of all naval aviation requirements and budget, in which capacity he was in the Pentagon when the terrorist attack struck the building directly below his office.
Following Navy retirement, he became the CEO/President of a large Commercial Charter Airline. He grew the airline into a multi-hundreds of million-dollar business. He left the airline and retired a second time to battle cancer. Having survived air combat, the 9/11 attacks, and cancer, Mike embodies the spirit of gratitude and lives in a “pay it forward mode” bringing his storied experience and passion to helping teams and leaders.