Meet the U.S. Navy’s First Black Female Fighter Pilot

Lt. j.g. Madeline “Maddy” Swegle talks about what it took to become the U.S. Navy’s first black female tactical jet pilot as she prepares to officially graduate from the Navy’s undergraduate Tactical Air (Strike) pilot training syllabus at Naval Air Station Kingsville, Texas. (U.S. Navy video by Austin Rooney/released)

Lt. (j.g.) Madeline Swegle recently completed the required training to become the Navy’s first African American female tactical pilot. The chief of Naval Air Training congratulated Swegle with a “BZ,” or “Bravo Zulu,” a naval term meaning well done. “BZ to Lt. (j.g.) Madeline Swegle on completing the Tactical Air (Strike) aviator syllabus,” wrote the chief of Naval Air Training in a tweet. “Swegle is the @USNavy’s first known black female TACAIR pilot and received her Wings of Gold this month. HOOYAH!” The news comes more than four decades after women first started receiving their wings when Rosemary B. Mariner, the first to command an operational naval aviation squadron, earned hers back in 1974.

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