Lt. j.g. Madeline G. Swegle received her Wings of Gold and became the U.S. Navy’s first black female tactical air (TACAIR) pilot on Friday.
“I’m excited to have this opportunity to work harder and fly high performance jet aircraft in the fleet,” Swegle commented, adding, “It would’ve been nice to see someone who looked like me in this role; I never intended to be the first. I hope it’s encouraging to other people.”
She followed in the footsteps of the Navy’s first Black American female naval aviator, Brenda E. Robinson, who earned her wings in 1980 and became the 42nd woman to be designated a naval aviator, the Navy said in a press release.
Commander, Naval Air Forces Vice Adm. DeWolfe “Bullet” Miller III praised Swegle’s achievement and said she proved to be a “courageous trailblazer.”
“She has joined a select group of people who earned Wings of Gold and answered the call to