At the end of this month, the United States Navy will give the Wings of Gold to its first Black female fighter pilot, LTJG Madeline Swegle. Swegle graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2017.
LTJG Swegle completed the Tactical Air (Strike) Aviator’s Syllabus early this month while assigned to the “Redhawks” of Training Squadron (VT) 21 at Naval Air Station Kingsville, TX.
Like all Navy pilots, Swegle did her training in the T-45C Goshawk training aircraft. She will now be moved to training in the Navy’s tactical planes like the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. Now she will become the first Black female TACAIR pilot to receive those coveted Gold Wings.
Swegle follows in the footsteps of other Navy female pilots like, Capt. Rosemary Mariner (who I have written about in the past) who in 1974 became the first woman pilot in US Navy history to fly tactical aircraft; Sen. Martha McSally, retired Air Force Lt. Colonel who became the first female Navy pilot to fly in combat; and Lt. Cmdr. Brenda Robinson, who was the Navy’s first Black woman pilot.
When asked about Swegle’s accomplishment this month, Rear Admiral Paula Dunn, the U.S. Navy’s Vice Chief of Information said on Twitter, “Very proud of LTJG Swegle. Go forth and kick butt.”
As of 2018, only about 2.7% of the Navy’s pilots were Black Americans and less than 7% of all Navy pilots were female, according to Military.com and the Pensacola News Journal respectively.
Learn more in the video below.
The Veterans Site would like to add its hardy congratulations to LTJG Madeline Swegle in getting her Gold Wings as a U.S. Navy TACAIR pilot. We wish her the best of luck and with Rear Admiral Dunn, we too say, “Go forth and kick butt!”
Fair Winds and Following Seas!
Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site Blog.