Navy Announces First Black Female Tactical Aircraft Pilot in 110 Years of Aviation
Lt. Madeline Swegle will be awarded her gold wings during a ceremony on July 31
Lt. Madeline Swegle is soaring to new heights in the U.S. Navy as she will soon become the service's first Black female fighter pilot.
On Thursday, the Chief of Naval Air Training congratulated Swegle on Twitter for "completing the Tactical Air (Strike) aviator syllabus," praising her with a "BZ," meaning Bravo Zulu or well done.
"Swegle is the @USNavy's first known Black female TACAIR pilot and will receive her Wings of Gold later this month. HOOYAH!" the tweet read.
Along with the message, the post included two pictures of Swegle wearing her pilot's uniform.
In one of the images, Swegle smiles next to a T-45C Goshawk training aircraft and in another photo, she is seen exiting the plane after completing her undergraduate syllabus.
According to military newspaper Stars and Stripes, the Virginia native graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2017.
Swegle is currently assigned to the Redhawks of Training Squadron 21 in Kingsville, Texas, and will be awarded her wings of gold during a ceremony on July 31, according to the Navy.
Rear Adm. Paula D. Dunn, the Navy's vice chief of information, also applauded Swegle on social media, writing that she is "very proud" of the graduate. "Go forth and kick butt," she wrote.
Swegle's sister shared the post on Twitter, writing, "Just my older sister being a boss everyday of her life."
"Proud of her doesn't even cover it," her sibling added.
Swegle's accomplishment comes more than 45 years after Rosemary Mariner became the first woman to fly tactical jets in the Navy in 1974, according to Stars and Stripes.
In 1990, Mariner, who died last January, was also the first woman to command an operational air squadron during Operation Desert Storm.
Brenda E. Robinson was the first African American female graduate from the Navy's Aviation Officer Candidate School and earned her wings in 1980, according to Women in Aviation.