Kathleen Trotter McMaster, H.R.’s Wife: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

H.R. McMaster wife, Kathleen Trotter McMaster, HR McMaster married

H.R. McMaster is married to Kathleen Trotter McMaster. (Getty)

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, who was hired by President Donald Trump to replace Michael Flynn in February, is married to Kathleen “Katie” Trotter McMaster.

The couple have been married for over 30 years and are the parents of three daughters, Katharine, Colleen and Caragh.

Here’s a look at Kathleen Trotter McMaster.

1. She’s the Eldest Daughter of Retired California Judge John K. Trotter

John K. Trotter, H.R. McMaster family

John K. Trotter. (JAMS)

McMaster and Katharine’s wedding announcement in the Tustin, California News in September 1985 notes that she is the daughter of Retired California Judge John K. Trotter. In an interview with the California Appellate Court Legacy Project, Trotter mentions that his eldest daughter is married to a “famous military person.” He also notes that Kathleen is one of seven children.

“I’m married, have been for 48 years. I have 7 children, 17 grandchildren — 3 lawyers in the group — and I’m lucky enough to have them, all but one, live in California: 5 of them live in Orange County, 1 in San Francisco, and my oldest daughter is married to kind of a famous military person. He’s a colonel in the Army who’s now in Baghdad,” Trotter said. “He wrote a very famous book called Dereliction of Duty, and we all are now praying that he gets out of Iraq pretty quickly.”

As Trotter’s California Courts biography notes, he was an Orange County Superior Court Judge from 1979 to 1982. In 1982, Governor Jerry Brown appointed him to the Court of Appeal, 4th District. In 1987, he retired as a presiding judge in the Court of Appeal, 4th District, Division 3.

After retiring in 1987, Trotter joined Judicial Arbitration & Mediation Service Inc. In 2011, he was named the most influential attorney in ADR by the National Law Journal.

2. McMaster & Katie Met in 1983 While on a Rugby Team

McMaster and Katie met in 1983, a year before McMaster graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and two years before their marriage.

In an interview with Tom Clancy for Clancy’s book Armored Cav: A guided Tour of an Armored Cavalry Unit, McMcaster said he met his wife while he was a member of West Point’s rugby team.

“As for enjoyment, I had the most fun playing on the Army rugby team,” McMaster told Clancy. “Our head coach, Major J.D.A. Baker [a British officer], was an outstanding example of what a military officer should be. We [the team] were a very close-knot group and the taem provided a welcome respite from daily cadet life. We had a great time togther and competed very successfully. And while playing rugby with the team in the fall of 1983, I met my wife, Katie [Trotter].”

3. While at Fort Benning, Katie Helped Set Up the Battle Buddy Resource Center

Katie McMaster, HR McMaster wife, Kathleen Trotter McMaster


In 2012, McMaster was promoted to major general and Command of the U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence (MCoE) and Fort Benning in Georgia. He commanded Fort Benning until 2014, when he became Deputy Commanding General of the Training and Doctrine Command and Director of the Training And Doctrine Command’s Army Capabilities Integration Center.

While at Fort Benning, Katie helped set up the Battle Buddy Resources Center, to help soldiers and families in crisis, notes the Network for Professional and Executive Women’s 2013 newsletter. The newsletter also notes that their family has lived in eight states and three countries.

As the Army notes, the BBRC provided a food bank for the Fort Benning area.

You can click here to see photos of McMaster and Katie at a 2013 reception.

4. Katie & McMaster Have 3 Daughters – Katharine, Colleen & Caragh

Katie McMaster, HR McMaster wife, Kathleen Trotter McMaster


McMaster and his wife have three grown daughters.

Katharine is a graduate from Villanova University, the Network for Professional Women notes.

Colleen McMaster will graduate from Johns Hopkins University with a masters degree. She is a kindergarten teacher. She is also set to marry Lee Robinson, who also serves in the U.S. Army.

Their youngest daughter is Caragh McMaster, who studied at the University of Virginia.

5. The McMasters Lived in Germany Before the Iraq War

Katie McMaster, HR McMaster wife, Kathleen Trotter McMaster


During McMaster’s long career in the military, his family has had to move around the U.S. several times. McMaster’s job also took him overseas. During his service in the 1991 Persian Gulf War, McMcaster was assigned to EAgle Troop, Second Armored Cavalry Regiment in Bamberg, Germany. From 1999 to 2002, just before the start of the Iraq War, he was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry in Schweinfurt Germany, notes his Army bio.

McMaster has several decorations on his resume, including the Silver Star, Army Distinguished Service Medal, Purple Heart, Bronze Star with Oak leaf cluster, Defense Superior Service Medal and the Joint Service Commendation Medal. He has also earned the NATO Medal and the Kuwait Liberation Medal.

McMaster has remained on active duty when Trump nominated him as the next National Security Adviser. Thee Senate voted to allow McMaster to keep his status as an active-duty, three-star general.