Shoot Like a Girl
One Woman’s Dramatic Fight in Afghanistan and on the Home Front
Major MJ Hegar is a force to be reckoned with. While piloting her third tour of Afghanistan, she took a bullet to her helicopter’s windshield. Badly injured, and under heavy fire, she flew her team to safety, conducting a near-impossible landing. She received a Purple Heart and a Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor, an honor awarded to only one other woman ever: Amelia Earhart. When her injuries barred her from service, she fought a policy that excluded women—a historic victory for female military members. An incredible story—soon to be a major motion picture—Hegar’s bravery inspires audiences to persevere through change, hardship, and any obstacles in their way.
“She has outsize charm, crazy grit, a terrific story and a knack for telling it. Her memoir, Shoot Like a Girl, with a front-cover blurb by John McCain, is in Hollywood development.”— The New York Times
In 2018, Hegar ran for Congress in Texas, and struck a meaningful chord across the nation. Beautifully depicted in her moving and wildly-viral campaign video, “Doors”—which Lin-Manuel Miranda called “the best political ad anyone’s ever seen”—Hegar told her story “about opening, pushing, and sometimes kicking through every door in my way.” In electrifying keynotes, she discusses the importance of teamwork as well as individual advocacy, highlighting the doors that each of us have in our paths—and how to open, push, or kick your way through. Hegar’s bestselling memoir, Shoot Like A Girl, is currently being adapted to a major motion picture.
Hegar has worked as a medical consultant, mentored cadets, and serves on the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps Advisory Committee. She is on the Board of Directors at the Texas Advocacy Project, an organization that provides legal representation and advocacy for victims of domestic abuse. Hegar has taught at the University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business, as well as at UT in the ROTC and Women’s Studies Departments. In 2015, she was inducted into the Army Women’s Foundation Hall of Fame, and in 2013, was named a Leading Global Thinker by Foreign Policy.
“MJ was outstanding–her story was not only compelling but from the audience reaction, many found it inspiring and to take action to make a positive change to their lives. Very pleased we had the opportunity to have her as a speaker.”Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals
“Your presentation was candid and inspiring. I appreciate all the hard work that went into planning your presentation and sharing your story. Our members really got a lot out of your message and were heard saying "this was the best keynote we have ever had." Thank you for making it memorable and impactful.”League of Oregon Cities
“Major Hegar was everything we could have hoped for and more. Engaging, professional, knowledgeable ... [she] maintained the perfect balance between seriousness and humor throughout her address.”University of Maryland School of Law
“You kept us all riveted with your story and storytelling skills, taking us from racing hearts to laughing and crying”Toastmasters Conference
“Your confidence, competence, planning, preparation and professionalism were all on display as you engaged our audience with ‘edge-of-the-seat’ stories sprinkled with your own unique ‘MJ brand’ of humor.”Metropolitan Breakfast Club Meeting
How will you react when you are tested? When Major MJ Hegar’s helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan, she discovered what it truly is to perform under pressure. Injured and without backup, she was pivotal in rescuing her crew and patients and became the second woman in history to earn a Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor Device. She was also awarded a Purple Heart. In this talk—appropriate for a wide variety of audiences, from corporate to college to military—she delivers valuable lessons for not only keeping a cool head in a tense situation, but performing with distinction. The difference between those of us who react well under pressure and those who don’t, she says, comes down to a few important principles. Who do you hope to be when all eyes turn to you?