A Historic Leader With a Passion for Innovation and Change
As head of all Naval Aviation, Admiral 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. His career was driven by one motivation: sustaining a culture of excellence while caring for his people. He is eager to share these leadership values of care, action and innovation with today’s decision makers..
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 TopGun Instructors, shooting down MIGs together. He became the Executive Officer of TopGun himself, and the two combined again to contribute to the movie “Top Gun”.
Mike commanded at every operational level of the Navy. His five commands at sea ranged from 14 Fighters and 300 personnel to a U.S. Fleet of 43,000 personnel, with 1400 aircraft and 88 ships. In these commands, he was able to achieve excellence, while suffering no operational loss of life while in command. His combat decorations include the Silver Star and Distinguished Flying Cross. Mike also served as the Director of Air Warfare for the Navy, in which capacity he was in the Pentagon when the terrorist attack struck the building directly below his office. During that tour, he was largely responsible for the next generation of naval aviation technology, aircraft and aircraft carriers.
Following Navy retirement, he became the CEO/President of a large Commercial Charter Airline which flew for the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Justice, as well as, sports teams and vacation companies. He grew the airline into a multi-hundreds of million dollar business, which routinely received performance bonuses from the Defense Department. He left the airline and retired a second time to battle cancer. Having survived air combat, the 9/11 attacks, and intestinal cancer, Mike embodies the spirit of “Glad To Be Here” and lives in a “pay it forward mode” bringing his storied experience and passion to helping teams and leaders.