He currently serves at Coast Guard Headquarters as a senior program manager for the Coast Guard's boat forces capability including its flood response capability program. He has been an Adjunct Lecturer in the Emergency and Disaster Management master's degree program at Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies since January 2019.
McGrail has 19 years of experience across the spectrum of homeland security and maritime preparedness and response at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels. He previously served at the cabinet level in the DHS Office of Policy and in the DHS National Operations Center. In the Coast Guard’s National Command Center, he provided national-level interagency coordination for the National Incident Commander throughout the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response in the Gulf of Mexico. In the field, he has extensive preparedness and response experience for major hurricanes including Hurricanes Sandy and Harvey as well as National Special Security Events including the 57th Presidential Inauguration and multiple State of the Union Addresses.
McGrail previously served four years as the Commanding Officer of Maritime Safety and Security Team New Orleans, a rapidly deployable maritime homeland security unit. During Hurricane Harvey, the team saved 961 survivors while conducting catastrophic incident search and rescue missions in support of FEMA and local authorities across southeast Texas. The team also provided nationwide Presidential maritime security support to U.S. Secret Service, conducted joint drug interdictions with the U.S. Navy, and saved 36 lives while conducting search and rescue patrols along the Rio Grande in support of U.S. Customs and Border Protection during the 2019 humanitarian crisis at the southwest border.
As the Officer in Charge of Law Enforcement Detachment 408, McGrail deployed globally in support Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom and conducted counter-drug operations in the Caribbean Sea and Eastern Pacific Ocean with the U.S. Navy and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.
McGrail is a Certified Emergency Manager and holds the Coast Guard Emergency Management Credential. He has been a Type 3 Incident Commander, a nationally certified Type 1 Operations Section Chief, and is also an alumnus of the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative program at Harvard University.
He earned an Executive Master of Professional Studies in Emergency and Disaster Management from Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies where he was the recipient of the Tropaia Outstanding Student Award. McGrail is a graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy with a B.S. in Government, the U.S. Naval War College with an M.A. in National Security and Strategic Studies and holds an Executive Certificate in Public Leadership from Harvard Kennedy School.
McGrail has also served as a Military Social Aide at The White House, as a Military Mentor in the U.S. Senate Youth Program, and in several other student mentorship programs within the Maryland, District of Columbia, and Louisiana public school systems.