through the glass ceilings of both her gender and race, Lt. j.g. Madeline Swegle has made history as the US Navy’s first Black female tactical aircraft pilot.
“BZ to Lt. j.g. Madeline Swegle on completing the Tactical Air (Strike) aviator syllabus,” the Chief of Naval Air Training wrote Thursday on Facebook, using the abbreviation BZ for Bravo Zulu, which means “well done.”
“Swegle is the U.S. Navy’s first known Black female TACAIR pilot and will receive her Wings of Gold later this month,” the post continued.
Her completion of the tactical air training program paves the way for her to fly fighter jets such as the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, the F-35C Joint Strike Fighter or the EA-18G j.g. Madeline Swegle exits a T-45C Goshawk training aircraft after completing her final flight of the undergraduate Tactical Air (Strike) pilot training syllabus at the Naval Air Station in Kingsville, Texas, July 7.
Rear Adm. Paula Dunn, the Navy’s vice chief of information, also congratulated Swegle by tweeting, “Very proud of LTJG Swegle. Go forth and kick butt.”
“Congratulations, LTJG Swegle! You make the @USNavy and our country stronger,” Warren tweeted.
Swegle’s history-making accomplishment comes nearly 110 years after the beginning of naval aviation when an aircraft, flown by Eugene Burton Ely, took off from the cruiser USS Birmingham anchored in the Chesapeake Bay on November 14, 1910, according to the official blog of the Navy.
In 1974, Rosemary Mariner became the first woman in the Navy to fly a tactical jet. And in the 1980s, Brenda Robinson was the first African American woman to earn her wings of gold and become a Navy flight instructor, evaluator and VIP transport pilot, according to the non-profit organization Women in Aviation International.