Kirstie Ennis was raised in Pensacola, FL and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps at 17 years old. Because she was underage she needed her parents’ permission, she convinced them by telling them she would stick to desk jobs. However, Ennis’ first job, was not a desk job, but a Helicopter Mechanic, where her duties included door gunner and airframes mechanic on the CH-53 heavy-lift transport helicopters. Ennis served six years in the Marines and was deployed twice to Afghanistan. During her second deployment in June 2012, while serving as the helicopter door gunner on a combat resupply mission to Forward Operating Base Now Zad, Ennis’s helicopter crashed. She sustained various injuries that led to amputation of her left leg. Ennis was medically retired from the Marine Corps in May 2014. After recovery, she has worked as stuntwoman in major motion pictures and has participated in a variety of adaptive sports. She is a passionate veteran advocate, establishing the Kirstie Ennis Foundation in an effort to serving veterans. The foundation provides education and opportunity in the outdoors and support to other non-profit organizations dedicated to improving the quality of life of individuals and families. Ennis competes in snowboarding and Iron Man competitions, she has run marathons, and is the first female amputee to summit Aconcagua Mountain in Argentina.
Ennis holds three Master of Arts degrees, in Human Behavior, Business Administration, and Public Administration and she sits on the board of the non-profit organizations Merging Vets and Players and Glam4Good. When she is not climbing mountains, Kirstie Ennis splits her time between Aspen, CO and San Diego, CA.