Orry McDonald grew up in Somerville, Tennessee, and he attended the University of Mississippi on a Naval ROTC scholarship. Following graduation in 2013, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps, and he was designated as a field artillery officer. From 2014-2017, he served as a platoon commander and battery executive officer with 2d Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Following this tour, he reported to Battery O, 5th Battalion, 14th Marine Regiment in Seal Beach, California for duty as the Inspector-Instructor.
Orry will be leaving the active component in February 2021 in order to pursue an MBA at Harvard Business School. He will also be joining the Selected Marine Corps Reserve, where he will serve with 4th Air/Naval Gunfire Liaison Company in West Palm Beach, Florida.