McMaster was born in Philadelphia in 1962. He attended Valley Forge Military Academy and then the United State Military Academy at West Point. He received the Silver Star in 1991.
McMaster holds a doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and was named to Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” list in 2014.
His doctoral thesis became a book titled “Dereliction of Duty.” It openly criticized the decisions of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to only tell the Johnson Administration what it wanted to hear. McMaster has a reputation for giving his honest opinion, and not telling people what they want to hear.
How this approach will mesh with the Trump will keep many eyes on the relationship between the two.