Big Ups to the First Black Woman Tactical Jet Pilot in the U.S. Navy

Black women are still making strides within the armed forces. L.T. J.G. Madeline Swegle has been named the first-ever Black women tactical aircraft pilot.

Swegle completed the Tactical Air (Strike) aviator syllabus with VT-21 Redhawks at NAS Kingsville, Texas. According to the chief of naval air training, this dynamic young woman is the U.S. Navy’s first known Black female TACAIR pilot and will receive her Wings of Gold later this month.

According to the Navy Times, Swegle’s completion of the undergraduate Tactical Air (Strike) pilot training syllabus makes her eligible to fly certain aircrafts, like the Boeing F/A Super Hornet. Her advancement will be marked by a ceremony on July 31.

LT. Swegle is now among a movement of Black women who have left a legacy within the armed forces. She is right behind Lt. Cmdr. Brenda Robinson who became the first Black female flight instructor, evaluator and VIP transport pilot in the Navy, among a host of other accomplishments.

Capt. Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour was the first female combat pilot in the entire U.S. military, reports the Navy Times

“As a Navy—uniform and civilian, active and reserve—we cannot tolerate discrimination or racism of any kind.  We must work to identify and eliminate individual and systemic racism within our force,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, chief of naval operations. “That is why we are standing up Task Force One Navy, which will work to identify and remove racial barriers and improve inclusion within our Navy.” 

This latest announcement is huge when it comes to the Navy’s mission and vision to brand itself as a leader in diversity and inclusion. The branch recently established a taskforce to combat discrimination among its ranks. 


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